Two-time Pro-Bowler Michael Griffin’s stellar professional football career spanned 10 seasons in the NFL, including stints with the Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings, and the Carolina Panthers. Since retiring in 2018, Griffin’s focus has shifted to entrepreneurship, opening up a subsidiary bakery under the Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise outside of his hometown of Austin, Texas with his life-long friends, fellow NFL standout Brian Orakpo and college classmate Bryan Hynson.
Griffin’s dynamic football career can be traced back to his early days as a star athlete at Bowie High School, where he was a two-year starter at running back and also started at defensive back as a senior. He earned numerous accolades at Bowie including honorable mention All-State Class 5A honors on offense and was named Academic All-District and All-Central Texas as a two-way performer in the same year. Griffin also received the District 25-5A Offensive MVP and earned All-District honors as a junior. In addition to football, in high school 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 also qualified for the Regional track and field meet. Regarded as a four-star recruit, Griffin was the 9th-ranked cornerback recruit in the nation and the 60th player overall in his 2003 class.
Griffin joined the Longhorns at the University of Texas in 2003 as a true freshman. His college career began strong making a remarkable eight blocked kicks that set a school career record and ranked second in NCAA Division 1-A history. As a senior in 2006, Griffin earned second-team All-American and first-team All-Big 12 accolades. Griffin was an honors student in college majoring in youth and community studies before getting drafted as the 19th pick overall in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Titans. He later received his degree from the University of Texas’ College of Education in May 2017.
Griffin had an incredible 9 seasons with the Tennessee Titans where he made two Pro-Bowls, was a Second-Team All-Pro, and was noted as the franchise’s all-time leader in tackles by a safety with 912. Griffin briefly played for the Minnesota Vikings and the Carolina Panthers before retiring on May 6, 2018, when he signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Tennessee Titans.
Griffin’s magnetic dexterity has served him well throughout the years as a football player, entrepreneur, and most recently the star of a hit Microsoft commercial with his friend and former Titan teammate Brian Orakpo. Griffin resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Shantel and their three children.
Four-time Pro-Bowler Brian Orakpo’s impressive professional football career spanned 10 seasons in the NFL, including stints with the Washington Redskins and the Tennessee Titans. After announcing his retirement following the 2018 season, Orakpo has since emerged as a zealous entrepreneur with a burgeoning television career. He is recognized most recently as a cupcake guru, opening up a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise in his hometown of Beecave, Texas with his friends, fellow NFL standout Michael Griffin and college classmate Bryan Hynson.
Known as the “workout warrior” from his college days at the University of Texas, Orakpo made an immediate impact for the Longhorns, earning him Defensive Freshman of the Year and first-team Freshman All-America by The Sporting News. Orakpo’s time as a standout collegiate athlete, afforded him many well-deserved accolades such as the Defensive MVP of the 2007 Holiday Bowl, and the Associated Press Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2008. In addition, he was the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the best defensive player, the Ted Hendricks Award, given to the top defensive end, The Bill Willis Trophy given to the top collegiate defensive lineman, and the Lombardi Award, given to the best lineman or linebacker. He was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American, after receiving first-team honors from the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He was the first Texas Longhorn defensive end to earn All-American honors since Tony Brackens in 1995.
Orakpo started off his NFL career strong. After being selected by the Washington Redskins as the 13th overall pick in the 2009 draft, Orakpo became the first Redskins’ rookie to make the Pro Bowl since RB/KR Tony Green in 1978. He started in all 16 games as a rookie and recorded 50 combined tackles (37 solo), a career-high 11 sacks, and two pass deflections. While with the Redskins, Orakpo’s endorsement contracts included one he signed in August 2011 with Geico, and he appeared in several commercials with the company’s signature “caveman” spokesperson. Orakpo also appeared in several commercials for Eastern Motors, a D.C. area car dealership. Orakpo had an impressive six seasons with the Redskins before signing with the Tennessee Titans. As a Titan, for four seasons Orakpo started in every single game except three due to an elbow injury, before retiring at the end of 2018.
Orakpo’s charismatic agility and keen instincts have served him well throughout the years as a football player, entrepreneur, and most recently star of a hit Microsoft commercial with his friend and former teammate Michael Griffin. Besides being an unconventional pastry chef running his cupcake business alongside his partners, Orakpo also has his hand in several other business ventures including one with his brother Mike Orakpo. The Orakpo brothers partnered together to launch an app called Athlete Connect, which is positioned to be the Uber of athlete training, serving as a hub in which trainers can connect with athletes seamlessly. Orakpo and his wife Bitura reside in Austin, Texas with their three children.
One third of the dynamic cupcake entrepreneurial team, Bryan Hynson co-founded a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise with his life-long friends and former NFL standouts, Brian Orakpo and Michael Griffin. The three all met as students at the University of Texas and had always planned on opening up a business together. Hynson runs operations for their cupcake shop, which has proven to be a true gem in the small town of Bee Cave, Texas and has garnered much success both locally and nationally.
Hynson is a distinguished auto lending consultant with extensive notable experience in sales. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Human Development from The University of Texas at Austin in May of 2008. Hynson’s creativity, leadership prowess, and charisma continue to fuel his impetuses to hone his craft, respectfully listen to the perspectives of others, and lend a helping hand to those in need.
Hynson is a native of Texas City, Texas- a small town right outside of Houston. He currently resides in Austin, Texas.