The Hero Baylor Needed
Robert Griffin III was supposed to be a Houston Cougar. Art Briles was one of a few Coaches willing to let him play Quarterback. Texas and Texas A&M recruited him as an Athlete, telling him he'll be headed to the Wide Receiver slot because of his world class speed. Then Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh recruited him with the pitch of a two-quarterback system including Griffin and Luck. Art Briles, who has an eye for Quarterbacks (Kevin Kolb, Case Keenum), believed in Griffin from day one.
The Baylor football program, then under Guy Morriss was coming off a 3-9 season in which they had gone winless in the Big XII. Baylor had won only eleven conference games in twelve Big XII seasons. The Bears were the perennial cellar dweller of the Big XII.
The biggest thing to come out of Baylor's athletic department in the decade was a scandal. The Baylor Men's Basketball team, led by Dave Bliss encountered a tragedy and responded in an utterly disgusting manner. Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy had gone missing and his body was later found. Dennehy had been murdered by then teammate Carlton Dotson and Dave Bliss was caught on tape by an assistant coach ordering a financial coverup.
Luckily for Baylor fans, Art Briles came to coach at Baylor in 2008 and brought Robert Griffin III, or RGIII as he is now popularly known. Griffin turned heads the moment he stepped onto the field in the midst of a season opening blowout loss at the hands of Wake Forest. Heading out of bounds, Griffin slowed up, watched a defender fly by, and turned upfield for an extra ten yards. The Briles- Griffin pairing never looked back.
After a 2009 season cut short by an ACL tear, Griffin came back and led the Bears to their first Bowl game in sixteen years. Griffin clearly improved before the 2011 season as the Bears offense moved away from the screen pass and threw the ball down the field more often than before. Eighteen of Griffin's thirty-six Touchdown passes were 35 yards or more, giving Baylor the most electrifying offense in the nation.
Griffin not only led Baylor to a third place finish in the Big XII, but also has them a bowl win away from the first ten win season since 1980. But more impressive than any pass Griffin made, or any tackle Griffin avoided was who RGIII was, off the field.
Media member after media member lined up to praise Griffin's character. Even though some thought this statement was cocky, Griffin explained it wasn't an insult to anyone but rather a complement to Baylor nation. Jason King (@JasonKingESPN) tweeted "Always nice to see good things happen to good people" in reference to Griffin winning the Heisman.
Griffin was well spoken and articulate in dozen's of interviews leading up to the Heisman trophy presentation on Saturday night. Then after Griffin won the award he gave a great speech, one that Stephen A. Smith (@StephenASmith) called a "Beautiful Thing" on twitter. Dennis Dodds (@DennisDoddscbs) said he "wanted Griffin as his lawyer" speaking of Griffin being a "Great orator."
On a night where Xavier and Cincinnati got in an on court brawl prompting Tu Holloway to talk about the "gangstas" in his locker room. On a night where news of reinging National League MVP Ryan Braun failing a test for performance enhancing drugs breaks. Baylor has its hero.
Dennis Dodds put it best on twitter, "On the same night Ryan Braun tests positive, RGIII restores our faith."
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