West Orange High School seniors Brody and Graysen Riffe are looking forward to their last year as offensive tackles for the Warriors before heading off to college.
“We’ve been playing for four years,” Brody Riffe said. “Last year was my first time starting; I did pretty well. This year, I’m going to do better.”
Neither twin had played football prior to their freshman year of high school. In fact, they joined the team after the football coaches at West Orange encouraged them to participate in summer workouts prior to the start of their high school years.
Ever since they were children, the identical twins knew they were going to become a part of the Warriors family when the time came.
“I knew I was coming to West Orange, because I’m two minutes down the road, so playing for them it was just even better; I love it,” Graysen Riffe said.
Despite having similar tastes in almost everything, they each like a different NFL team. Brody Riffe cheers for the Las Vegas Raiders, while Graysen Riffe likes the Jacksonville Jaguars. Neither has an NFL role-model player, so they have come to implement unique techniques into their style by trial and error.
“I probably (have) a little bit more different stance than more tackles,” Brody Riffe said. “(Because) I’m so tall, I have a little wider and further back stance than most tackles.”
“(I’m working on) being more aggressive,” Graysen Riffe said. “It’s kind of a mindset.”
MEETING OF THE MINDS
Born only two minutes apart — Brody is older — the Riffe twins do everything together. They like to swim, throw the football, play games and even volleyball. However, for the first two years of football play, the twins didn’t spend much time together on the football field.
“We didn’t play that much together our sophomore year; I didn’t really see him that much,” Brody Riffe said. “But then, my junior — and now senior year, it’s a lot more fun, because if he has to do something, and I know what he has to do, I look at him and say, ‘You know what you have to do in this play, right?’ and then he’s like ‘Yeah,’ and I go like, ‘OK, that’s good.’”
The twins believe in twin telepathy. They sometimes can finish each other’s sentence, and they even sometimes know what the other is feeling.
“Like, if he’s hurting, I know what that feels (like),” Brody Riffe said.
“People want to hear me and him saying the same word at the same time about a certain topic, but if he can’t finish a sentence, and I know what he’s thinking, then I’ll just finish the sentence, and he’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, that’s what I was going to say,’” Graysen Riffe said.
Furthermore, the twins agreed that with Graysen playing left tackle and Brody playing right, twin telepathy has helped them during a play or two.
“It doesn’t happen that way much; I don’t think,” Graysen Riffe said. “Maybe it’ll help on a play. … It’s a lot easier because we can have each other’s backs playing together, and it’s nice knowing that someone is going to be there for you.”
In addition to football, the twins also were a part of the volleyball team for the school during their freshman and sophomore years, and they are even considering playing again during their senior year of high school.
“It just depends on how college football works out,” Brody Riffe said.
The twins’ favorite part of Friday nights is being able to play as one team instead of playing against each other for practices.
“In our practices, we are kind of always against each other,” Brody Riffe said. “And then Friday, we get to play with each other as one whole team — not just as offense and defense. We are really good about that; we are always together.”
A PACKAGE DEAL
The twins have an older sister, Cambrie Riffe, a former Warrior who is currently enrolled at Auburn University with an academic scholarship for her freshman year.
When it comes to playing football at the collegiate level, the Riffes are hoping to be a package deal and hopefully stay in Florida.
“(We) want to stay in Florida, and we also want to play together,” Brody Riffe said. “It’s kind of a big deal, but that’s just what I want to do. I don’t really want to go outside of Florida, but I will for sure (if I have to), and I don’t really want to leave him by himself.”
“We prefer to stay in Florida, but we’ll go anywhere,” Graysen Riffe said. “But we do want to be a package deal.”
The twins are looking forward to sending clips to different universities after the first few games of the season and are excited to see what colleges reach out and provide them with the opportunity to continue playing together beyond Warrior territory.