NEW YORK (BP) — Robert Griffin III became the first Baylor University football player ever to win the Heisman Memorial Trophy when his name was announced Dec. 11 in New York as the recipient of college football’s top award.
“This moment right here is unbelievably believable,” Griffin said in his acceptance speech. “It’s unbelievable because in the moment, we’re all amazed when great things happen. But it’s believable because great things don’t happen without hard work.
“We’ve certainly worked for this,” Griffin continued. “That’s why everybody associated with Baylor University has a reason to celebrate tonight.”
The junior quarterback, dubbed “RG3,” has passed for a school-record 3,998 yards and 36 touchdowns with only six interceptions in leading the 12th-ranked Bears to a 9-3 record this season, the most wins for Baylor in 25 years. Baylor will face Washington Dec. 29 in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.
Griffin, of Copperas Cove, Texas, is the 77th winner of the Heisman Trophy. He tallied 1,687 points in the Heisman voting, surpassing Stanford’s Andrew Luck (1,407 points), Alabama’s Trent Richardson (978 points), Wisconsin’s Montee Ball (348 points) and Louisiana State’s Tyrann Mathieu (327 points).
“I couldn’t be more happy for Robert,” Baylor head coach Art Briles said. “This outcome, in our minds, wasn’t by chance — it was by design. Robert has been preparing himself to be the best he can be for four years at Baylor. This award is the result of Robert’s dedication and discipline and the support of our team and football program. This is the exclamation point on the direction of Baylor football and Baylor University.”
The Heisman was only the latest in a string of awards for Griffin, who on Dec. 8 won the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and previously was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. Griffin leads the nation in passing efficiency at 192.3, better than the NCAA single-season record of 186.0 set by Hawaii’s Colt Brennan in 2006.
“To Baylor Nation, I say this is a forever kind of moment,” Griffin said upon accepting the Heisman. “May we be blessed enough to have many more like it in the future. God always has a plan, and it’s our job to fulfill it, and in this moment, we have.”
Tim Ellsworth is editor of BPSports (www.bpsports.net).