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Friend details saving Indiana receiver Isaac Griffith from drowning; Griffith's condition improving

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday
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A general view of Memorial Stadium before the game between the Indiana Hoosiers versus the Missouri Tigers on September 21, 2013 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Indiana freshman receiver Isaac Griffith remains hospitalized in Sarasota, Fla., after a Monday swimming accident at Siesta Beach in which he and three other friends were caught in a rip current.

One of Griffith’s friends, Mitch McCune, detailed the incident to ESPN and said that he “reacted on instinct” when he saw his friend in trouble as they were pulled out past the buoys.

“Me and Isaac got pulled farther out than everyone else, so we were having trouble,” McCune said. “He was drowning and I grabbed him and got him to shore. It was tough.”

McClune and another friend, IU safety Ty Smith, helped bring a non-responsive Griffith to shore where McCune performed CPR until emergency crews arrived on the scene.

As of Tuesday night, Griffith was listed in critical but stable condition at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and a spokesperson said he has been showing “small but incremental improvements.”

Griffith’s father, Shannon, has been giving brief updates of his son’s condition on Twitter over the past day and said Tuesday night that his son is on a ventilator.

McCune said that he has visited Griffith several times in the hospital, but didn’t get into too many details about his friend’s condition at the request of the family. He also asked Hoosiers fans to keep Griffith in their thoughts and prayers.

“He’s getting better, but he has a lot of little battles and he’s doing it hour by hour,” McCune said. “Pray for his lungs and his little battles and that he will come out strong and OK. Just keep thinking positive thoughts.”

McCune also denied the report from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department that said that Griffith had been drinking with McCune, Smith and IU wide receiver Nick Stoner in a hotel room before they decided to go swimming.

“I don’t know how that started,” he said.

The 6-foot, 194-pound Griffith redshirted for the Hoosiers last season and was a three-star recruit in the class of 2013.

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