Two seasons ago Robert Griffin III suffered a devastating knee injury that cost him the 2009 season. Now, two years removed from that injury, RG III is back, better than ever, and reminding everyone in the college football world why he was the Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2008. Simply put RG III has been absolutely incredible this season. He has made spectacular plays all season and despite having one of the worst defensive units in the country, he has led Baylor into college football relevance and to a 9-3 record. The numbers are video-game like. He is completing 72 percent of his passes, has thrown for nearly 4,000 yards, and has 36 TD’s and just 6 INT’s. Of course running has always been a part of his game as well and has added over 600 yards and nine rushing touchdowns to his resume as well. There is no doubt that Griffin has captured the nation’s attention and has been one of the best quarterbacks in the country. The only real question remaining is whether or not his magical season will lead him to a Heisman Trophy this weekend.
Robert Griffin III joined WQAM in Miami with Steve and Gino to talk about what changed for him this year, whether or not he takes extra pride in building a program like Baylor into prominence, whether or not winning a Heisman Trophy was a goal of his, if his teammates have been getting on him about being a Heisman Trophy finalist, and whether or not he has thought about going into the NFL next year.
On what changed for him this year:
“I think it’s a bunch of things collectively. I think the coaching has gotten better with understanding the personnel that we have and putting the defense in bad situations. I’ve gotten better and the coaches have helped me in that aspect and the guys around me have gotten a lot better. All these guys, I have a lot of weapons here at Baylor that people overlook but I cherish them and praise them every time they do something good.”
Whether or not he takes extra pride in building a program like Baylor into one of prominence:
“It’s amazing and anytime you can take something and build it from the ground up and watch it flourish you feel good about it. Five or ten years from now we’ll be able to look back and see that Baylor is still doing a great job and feel like we had a big part of that but right now we’re still trying to climb the mountain because we know were still not to the top yet.”
Whether or not he had the goal to be a Hesiman Trophy winner:
“It’s never a goal. If you ask anybody do they want to win the Heisman of course they’re going to say yes but I try not to set personal goals for myself because I know the most important thing is to win. As the quarterback of your team you have to play well in order for your team to win. That was the main thing for me of course. Going into the Texas game everyone was saying it was a chance to have a Heisman moment, we needed to win the game, and all these other things but we fought against that and tried to push it as far back in our minds as we could so we could go out and execute.”
If his teammates are giving him a hard time because of all the attention he has gotten being a Heisman Trophy finalist:
“Of course everyone is going to pick and prod at you and make fun of you just to try and keep you sane and keep you human. The thing I noticed is that most of the guys on the team wanted the award, they wanted us to be in New York because they feel like me being there, they’re all there and that’s the same way I feel. Me being invited it invited our whole team because I’m representing them and I’m gonna make sure I represent them well. They wanted me to get the award and they showed it because our defense played huge and the end of the season and our offense also flourished.”
If he has thought about the NFL:
“I try not to. The thing that I notice is what you repeatedly say is who you are. I’m trying to make sure I focus on what’s in front of me and that’s being a Baylor Bear and right now that is winning the Heisman. I’m not trying to think about the next level. Of course people are gonna bring it up to you and talk about how high of a pick you would be but we still have a bowl game to win. I’m gonna enjoy every second of being a Baylor Bear while I can. At the end of the year if I come back I will make sure I enjoy it and if I decide to leave then it will be hard.”
Whether or not it has been tough to stay focused during this time on the “banquet circuit”
“I talked to Coach Briles and expressed to him that I didn’t want to be distracted by this but he told me this was a good distraction not only for myself and for him, but also for the team and the whole community. He told me to just make sure I do what I have to do in this week of awards and then come back next week ready to work. I plan on lifting a few times maybe when I’m in New York or somewhere else while I’m traveling this week just to make sure I keep my body right and stay focused.”