When Robert Griffin III threw a game-winning touchdown against the University of Oklahoma in November 2011, he transformed Baylor football.
That one pass took Baylor from a program that mostly resided in the doldrums of the Big 12 to a program with constant mainstream media attention.
Within the scope of one play, Griffin gained national attention for Baylor and himself.
Some would say that his dramatic finish against the Sooners is what tipped the scale in his favor for the Heisman Trophy over Andrew Luck.
Others would go even further and say that single play is what brought football to Baylor’s campus in the form of McLane Stadium.
No matter how you feel about Griffin’s famous pass against Oklahoma, there is no doubt that he, along with the help of head coach Art Briles, completely changed Baylor football for the good.
Fast-forward to today, and Griffin has the same potential opportunity before him.
After a stellar rookie season in the NFL, Griffin’s career has been plagued by injuries and off-the-field drama with the staff of the Washington Redskins.
Despite his success with the Redskins during his rookie season, Griffin could not seem to replicate his earlier success and was eventually the third string quarterback during the 2015 season.
However, even through some of the difficult times, Griffin has still shown he can be a top NFL quarterback. For example, in the final game of the 2014 season, he threw for 336 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for a touchdown.
It is flashes of brilliance like this that help him remain desirable to some teams.
Included in those teams are the Cleveland Browns, who acted on their desires and signed Griffin last week.
Many Baylor fans groaned when the news broke that Griffin would be headed to Cleveland to play for the Browns.
Their complaints are not unwarranted since the Browns have not yielded a successful quarterback or team in a very long time.
Although many highly-touted quarterbacks have gone to play for Cleveland, their careers almost never seemed to take off.
Playing quarterback for the Cleveland Browns can sometimes seem like a sentencing to a career of mediocrity.
However, Robert Griffin III has a chance to change that.
Playing for a program that has not had recent success is not a new concept to Griffin.
In fact, rising above the odds and finding a way to transform a culture is the exact thing that made Griffin a star in the first place. Not only is this role familiar to Griffin, it is a role in which he excelled.
This is not only a chance for Griffin to revitalize his career, it is a chance for him to revitalize an entire program and community.
Although this seems like a scary opportunity for Griffin to fade into obscurity, it is just as much an opportunity for him to really become a leader and carve out an NFL legacy.
Griffin has the chance to help bring a winning culture to a football team that is without one, just like he did to Baylor several years ago.
Despite this being a different scenario for Griffin than when he was an under-the-radar quarterback turned Heisman candidate, the principle remains the same.
This is a chance for Griffin to remind the critics why he became a star while helping bring credibility to a program that seems to struggle finding some.
It is unclear what the future holds for Griffin.
Perhaps another lackluster season will occur for the Browns, and we will still be talking about Griffin’s pass against Oklahoma as the crowning jewel of his career.
Or perhaps Griffin will help find a way to win in Cleveland and become the leader for the Browns that he was for Baylor.
The opportunity for NFL greatness for Robert Griffin III is just as present now as it ever was.
Whatever fate awaits Griffin in Cleveland, I wish him the best.