Baylor QB Robert Griffin III: Darkhorse Heisman Candidate


robert-griffin-iii

The Heisman discussion these days seems to comes down to Stanford’s Andrew Luck versus Alabama’s Trent Richardson. Other candidates on the outside looking in are USC’s Matt Barkley, Houston’s Case Keenum, the stats monster, and Montee Ball and Russell Wilson of the Wisconsin Badgers.

But what about Robert Griffin III from Baylor? I think the dual-threat QB deserves much more consideration.

The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and is the oldest national quarterback award. The 2011 Davey O’Brien winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards airing Thursday, Dec. 8 on ESPN.

The three O’Brien finalists are Luck, Keenum and RG3.

Griffin, a junior from Copperas Cove, Texas has been sensational so far this season. Through 10 games, Griffin has amassed 4,122 yards of total offense and 38 touchdowns. He leads the nation in total offense (412.20 yards per game) and points responsible for (23.0 points per game) and ranks second overall in passing efficiency with a 191.65 rating.

Griffin and the Baylor Bears haven’t had a lot of national recognition, until knocking off the #5 team in the BcS, the Oklahoma Sooners, on Saturday.

Griffin talked about the publicity following the win…

“No, it never gets old. You never get tired of being acknowledged that you’re doing good things. `Sic `em’ was trending on Twitter, just throwing that out there, so it wasn’t just me. Everybody played great. Honestly, it was the greatest game I’ve ever been a part of, junior high, high school, anything. A great team effort. Our defense kept us in the game, the whole game. We’re proud of them, proud of the way we fought. We continued to stay aggressive the whole game.”

Griffin’s NFL Draft stock is blowing up. Teams love his arm strength and fast feet. His character and intelligence are top notch as well. Perhaps his best selling point is an intangible: his team’s ability to be calm under pressure…

“Yeah, that’s what you want to be, you want to be cool, calm and collective. We never lost the faith. A bunch of guys had a great feeling about this game. Going to the beginning of the week, everyone was in great spirits, we were moving around extremely well,” Griffin said.

“It just reminded us of the TCU game, the feeling that we had before it. This was a little bit more of a fight than the TCU game was, but it had the same outcome. We won the game. Our guys did a great job of staying at it. We’ve worked at this for a long time, and we finally got that big victory that we were looking for. The season’s not over and we know that. I know that. And we’ll be focused and ready to go for Texas Tech, because we’re not overlooking anybody.”

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports.

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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