Standing in the confetti celebration last month after the Bears won their first bowl game in nearly two decades for a 10-win season, the exciting dual-threat quarterback knew in his gut it was time to move on to the next level.
Griffin has now made it official, announcing he would skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft after a college career in which he set or tied 54 school records in 41 games. It was a month and a day after RG3 — as Griffin is popularly known — became the first Baylor player to win college football's highest individual honor.
“Obviously you want to leave something better than you found it,” Griffin said. “I can say we've done that.”
His public announcement came right after meeting with teammates to inform them of the decision. Griffin said he broke down in tears after telling them.
Despite losing the best quarterback in Baylor history, Briles called it a day of celebration for all that Griffin has meant and stood for at Baylor, both on and off the field.
“He's ready, it's time,” Briles said. “I'm excited, and I'm happy for Robert, for the way he's conducted himself for four years and the journey he has in front of him.”
Griffin and Stanford's Andrew Luck, the Heisman runner-up, are likely to be the first two quarterbacks drafted in April.
“It's just a tough decision, I love the people at this university,” Griffin said. “I love my coach for giving me the chance of being a quarterback and doing the things that we've done.”
When Griffin walked out of the room after his news conference, he was greeted in the hallway by an embrace from school president Ken Starr, who expressed how proud he was of the quarterback.
“He is priceless. He's just matchless in terms of the combination of goodness of character, greatness of skill and his commitment to his university and his teammates,” Starr said. “The nation has found Robert to be this very endearing and, as someone said, he's the most interesting person in perhaps all of athletics, but interesting in a positive sense. It's all good, and there's a goodness of character that makes Baylor proud.”
There are also the goofy socks. RG3 created a frenzy that led to people paying several hundreds of dollars to get a pair of Superman socks like the ones he wore at the Heisman ceremony Dec. 10.
Griffin arrived at Baylor as a 17-year-old freshman in January 2008 after graduating from high school a semester early. He completed an undergraduate degree in political science in December 2010 and has been working on his master's degree in communications which he said he will complete with a thesis either this spring or summer.
Photo: AP Photo
‘SKILL AND CHARACTER’: Baylor University quarterback Robert Griffin III became the first Baylor Bear to receive the Heisman Trophy as the Most Outstanding College Football Player in the U.S., Dec. 10 at the Marriot Marquis in Times Square, N.Y.