Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is entering the NFL Draft.
It is truly a bittersweet moment for Baylor. It’s sweet because of everything Griffin gave to the school, the fans and the community, and now he adds one more thing with Baylor receiving attention for having a top 10, possibly top five draft pick and a top two quarterback prospect.
It’s bitter, obviously, because fans will not get to see him play in green and gold one more season, and there is no telling what else he could have accomplished.
The Lariat echoes these sentiments and would like to thank Griffin for all that he has done for Baylor in his four years here. He performed well on the field, leading Baylor football to its first bowl game in more than 15 years, then its first bowl win the following season. He entertained fans as he led the high-powered, quick-strike Baylor offense to breaking numerous school records in his three seasons.
Griffin’s actions on the field attracted the national spotlight to Baylor, and when he stepped off the field, as head coach Art Briles said numerous times, he served as a great ambassador for Baylor and its athletic program. He carried himself well when he made appearances on ESPN College Gameday and when he gave interviews to nationally syndicated sports talk shows.
Griffin’s appearance at the Heisman trophy presentation, complete with the Superman socks he revealed to the national television audience, made the Baylor family proud to say, “He’s one of us.”
The Lariat would also like to thank Griffin for what he has provided this publication. Even before he stepped on the field at Floyd Casey Stadium, he provided us with material for articles. The way he performed for Baylor and carried himself gave way to positive news coverage for the Lariat while many college newspapers, even our own at times, had to deal with scandals and negative stories. His athleticism during games led to many great photo opportunities, as Lariat photographers can attest to.
This season he gave Baylor Nation the greatest gift one can receive in college football when he earned the Heisman Trophy. Because of that, the Lariat was able to do what no other college newspaper could do this year and release an entire issue dedicated to our school’s Heisman victory. And for that, again, we would like to thank Griffin.
We’d also like to shout out to the members of Baylor Nation who answered our call for interview subjects in our Heisman issue. Your input shaped the stories and allowed us to document what the Heisman meant to Baylor fans young and old across the country.
So, where do we all go from here? Griffin will be drafted by an NFL team, which will probably earn itself some new fans from Central Texas. The Baylor football team will enter the 2012 season with a different quarterback as well as a new standard to live up to. The Lariat will have a new staff and will still be covering the football team as always. Baylor Nation will remember the 2011 season fondly for many years to come because, as Griffin said in his Heisman speech, “This is a forever kind of moment.”
At his press conference when he announced his decision to turn pro, Griffin said, “I’m not very good at goodbyes. That’s why I always say, ‘see you later.’” We agree, and we wish him well.