A native of Austin, Texas, Griffin attended Bowie High School, where he was a two-year starter at running back and also started at defensive back as a senior. He earned honorable mention All-State Class 5A honors on offense and was also named Academic All-District and All-Central Texas as a two-way performer that year. He was also the District 25-5A Offensive MVP, as he rushed for 1,181 yards and 11 touchdowns on 132 carries (8.9 average) and caught six passes for 112 yards, including a score in 2002. He also added 46 tackles, three pass deflections and a forced fumble on defense. His top games of the 2002 season were in wins against Hays Consolidated (226 yards and three scores) and Austin (207 yards and three touchdowns). Griffin earned All-District honors as a junior after rushing for 946 yards and 14 touchdowns on 126 attempts (7.5 avg). He also had 11 receptions for 286 yards and four scores. During his final two seasons at Bowie, Griffin rushed for 2,127 yards and 25 touchdowns on the ground along with averaging 23.4 yards per catch.
In addition to football, Griffin also earned two letters in basketball as a guard and forward and three in track & field, competing in the sprints and mile relays. He qualified for the Regional track and field meet after posting personal-bests of 10.64 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 22.10 seconds in the 200-meter dash in his senior year.
Regarded as a four-star recruit, Griffin was the 9th-ranked cornerback recruit in the nation and the 60th player overall according to Rivals.com in a 2003 class that was highlighted by Antonio Cromartie and Donte Whitner. Griffin committed to play college football for the Texas Longhorns on December 13, 2002. He chose the Longhorns over scholarship offers from Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
Griffin attended the University of Texas in Austin, where he started his college football career in 2003 as a true freshman for the Texas Longhorns football team. In 50 career games at Texas, Griffin started 28 times. He ranks eighth in school history with 368 tackles (234 of them solo). He produced four sacks for a loss of 46 yards, 14.5 stops for losses of 78 yards and 13 quarterback pressures. He recovered seven fumbles and caused nine others. His eight blocked kicks set a school career record and rank second in NCAA Division 1-A history. He deflected 23 passes and intercepted eight others for 41 yards (5.1 average) in returns. He also totaled 124 yards on six blocked punt returns (20.7 average). On special teams, he posted 49 tackles.
Griffin was immediately thrust into the action, appearing in all 12 games at strong safety and starting at nickel back against Washington State and Texas Tech. He finished seventh on the team with 65 tackles (51 of them solo), adding two sacks, five stops for losses and three pressures. In addition, he recovered a fumble and caused three others while also batting down two passes.
In Griffin's sophomore season, 2004, he played behind Michael Huff at strong safety, earning his only start against Michigan in the 2005 Rose Bowl. He produced 49 tackles (37 of them solo) with a sack, two stops behind the line of scrimmage and a pair of pressures. He blocked two punts, picked off a pass and deflected three others. He also caused and recovered a fumble.
With Michael Huff entrenched at strong safety, Texas' coaches shifted Griffin to free safety for his junior season in 2005. A starter in 12 of 13 games, he was a second-team All-Big 12 Conference choice, as he led the team with 124 tackles (67 of them solo), including four stops for losses and five pressures. He tied the school single-season record with four blocked kicks and had three interceptions with eight pass break-ups. He recovered three fumbles and caused another. Griffin intercepted a pass at the goal line in Texas' 41-38 Rose Bowl win against USC for the National Championship.
As a senior in 2006, Griffin earned second-team All-American and first-team All-Big 12 accolades. He again led the team from his free safety position, collecting a career-high 126 tackles (79 of them solo) with a sack, 3.5 stops for losses and three pressures. He caused four fumbles, recovered two others and blocked two kicks. He deflected 10 passes and had four interceptions.
Griffin was drafted with the 19th pick of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. On May 4, head coach Jeff Fisher stated that Griffin would be moved from safety to cornerback due to Adam Pacman Jones year long suspension, however later on in the season Griffin was moved back to safety after depth at the cornerback position developed better than expected and then starting free safety Calvin Lowry struggled to prevent the big play. Griffin finished the season with three interceptions and one forced fumble (all of which came at the safety position), as well as fifty-four total tackles.
In Griffin's second NFL season he finished with 75 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 7 interceptions and 11 pass deflections while playing all 16 games. In a Week 16 31-14 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Griffin had 2 interceptions returning one for a pick-six. Griffin went on to be named to his first Pro Bowl.
In Griffin's third season he finished with 77 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception and 7 pass deflections while once again playing all 16 games. Griffin helped the Titans finished the final ten games 8-2 after the team lost the first 6 games.
Griffin's fourth season saw him record 108 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries, 4 interceptions and 12 pass deflections while playing all 16 games for the fourth consecutive year. Griffin had a span of 4 weeks (10/3-10/24) where he had an interception each game. Griffin also had 3 games where he recorded more than 10 tackles.
Griffin entered his fifth NFL season in a contract year. Griffin once again played all 16 games. Griffin finished his contract year with 75 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 interceptions and 7 pass deflections On November 18, 2011 Griffin was fined $7,500 for a late hit against the Carolina Panthers. On March 5, 2012 Griffin was assigned the franchise tag worth $6.2 million. On June 19, 2012 Griffin signed a 5-year $35 million contract.
In Griffin's first season since signing his new contract he had 79 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 sack, 4 interceptions and 4 pass deflections while playing all 16 games for a sixth season in a row. In a week 2 game against the New England Patriots, Griffin record a career-high 18 tackles. On November 9, 2012, Griffin was fined $20,000 for his horse-collar tackle on Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte.
In the 2013 NFL season Griffin played 14 games and for the first time in his seven-year career missed a game. Griffin still finished the season with 82 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 1 interception and 4 pass deflections.
In Griffin's 2014 Season he had a career-high 112 tackles and 3 sacks. Griffin also recorded 2 interceptions and 5 pass deflections while playing all 16 games.
In Griffin's ninth season he recorded 101 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception and 3 pass deflections. On February 9, 2016 Griffin was released ending his 9-year stint with the Titans.
Griffin signed with the Minnesota Vikings on March 9, 2016. On September 3, 2016, he was placed on injured reserve. On September 8, he was released from the Vikings' injured reserve.
On September 27, 2016, Griffin signed with the Carolina Panthers.
KeyGP: games played
COMB: combined tackles
TOTAL: total tackles
AST: assisted tackles
FF: forced fumbles
FR: fumble recoveries
FR YDS: fumble return yards
IR YDS: interception return yards
AVG IR: average interception return
LNG: longest interception return
TD: interceptions returned for touchdown
PD: passes defensed
In college, Griffin was an honors student majoring in youth and community studies. He has a twin brother, Marcus Griffin, who was also a defensive back at the University of Texas. He always wears a watch during practices and his teammates often ask him how many minutes before practice is over. Their parents, Ronald and Mae, are both retired from the United States Armed Services.
In 2010, Griffin joined the School of the Legends (SOTL), which is an online community for NFL Players, coaches, and fans.
Griffin is married to longtime girlfriend, Shantel Spence, mother of his daughter Mya D. Griffin.