Robert Griffin III Named Sporting News Rookie of the Year

John Bibb@@JohnBibbAnalyst IIIJanuary 22, 2013

In a moment of celebration following a touchdown pass in his first NFL game against the New Orleans Saints, the term "Griffining" was born.
In a moment of celebration following a touchdown pass in his first NFL game against the New Orleans Saints, the term "Griffining" was born.Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

In what is arguably the best rookie class in the history of the NFL, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III rose to the top over fellow first-year quarterbacks Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks to be named the Sporting News Rookie of the Year.

While all three quarterbacks led their teams to turnaround seasons and 2012-13 playoff berths, Griffin commanded nearly half of the votes among the 800 NFL coaches, players and executives.

Griffin finished with 363 first place votes followed by Luck (213), Wilson (124) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers' running back Doug Martin (57).  

Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, "It isn't what you do, but how you do it." Griffin certainly made that statement a reality as he led the Redskins to their first NFC East title since 1999 while finishing the regular season with a seven-game winning streak.

Griffin set not only NFL rookie records but franchise records in his debut season—including most yards rushing by an NFL rookie quarterback, best touchdown to interception ratio (20-to-5) and highest passer rating in a rookie season (102.4).

Despite missing an entire game due to a knee injury late in the season, Sporting News voters seemed to see the true value in Griffin's overall performance and impact on the game.

The offseason recognition bestowed Griffin has been a bright spot for fans as he recuperates from surgery. Redskins' head coach Mike Shanahan even paid a surprise visit to Griffin over the weekend of the NFL Conference Championship games.

In addition to the Sporting News award, RG3 has also been named to the NFL Pro Bowl, the All-NFC East team and the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro Football Weekly Overall and Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Earlier this week, the social media site— an officially licensed product of the NFL Players, Inc., made up of more than 2,500 current and former players—selected RGIII their winner of the Players Choice Award for Rookie of the year.

The AP/NFL Rookie of the Year award is scheduled to be announced the night before the Super Bowl in a two-hour, prime-time special airing Feb. 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET on CBS.


Follow on Twitter @JohnBibb and view previous Bleacher Report articles I have authored on the Washington Redskins.