The Big 12's total offense leader, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, is one of the five college football players invited to New York City as a finalist for the 2011 Heisman Trophy, honoring the most outstanding player in college football. This is the 77th year for the award.
Griffin will join Andrew Luck, quarterback from Stanford, running back Montee Ball of Wisconsin, Tyrann Mathieu, a defensive back for LSU and Trent Richardson, running back for Alabama at the presentation ceremony Saturday night at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in Times Square.
The Baylor signal caller had a sensational season and is a huge reason why Baylor ended the regular season with a 9-3 record and a 6-3 mark in the conference. Both represented school bests in the Big 12 era. Griffin led the country in passing efficiency and individual scoring offense (22.67 points a game) and was second in total offense, averaging 386 yards per game. He is one of three players in the history of the major college football to complete 10,000 career passing yards and 2,000 yards rushing.
"Baylor nation, we're in there," Griffin said in an interview with Ralph Russo of the Associated Press. "Now we just got to try to snatch it. Hopefully the vote turns out our way."
Griffin would be the first Baylor student athlete to win the Heisman Trophy. Two Baylor Bears have finished in the top 10 of the Heisman voting, however: Larry Isbell was seventh in 1951, and Don Trull ended up fourth in the Heisman balloting in 1963.
In addition to being a Heisman finalist, Griffin also is a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year award, the Davy O'Brien National Quarterback Awards and the Wuerffel Trophy.
"What (winning the Heisman) would do for the university is unequaled in modern history at Baylor," Griffin's head coach Art Briles said. "It certainly puts us on the national level with other elite programs across the nation over the last three of four decades."
Griffin originally was recruited by Briles when he was the head coach at Houston, but switched his commitment to Baylor when Briles became the Bears' head coach in 2008.
Three Big 12 players have won the Heisman Trophy in the past 11 seasons (Eric Crouch of Nebraska in 2001, Jason White of Oklahoma in 2003 and Sam Bradford, also from Oklahoma, in 2008), and two more have been runnersup (Oklahoma's Josh Heupel in 2000 and Adrian Peterson of Oklahoma in 2004).
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