RG3 wins first Heisman Trophy for Baylor

By Ralph D. Russo

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Dec. 11 2011 2:30 a.m. MST

NEW YORK — Robert Griffin III is Baylor's Superman and when he won the Heisman Trophy he was wearing the socks to prove it.

Who knows? Maybe they even helped him outluck Andrew Luck.

The junior quarterback known as RG3 beat out the preseason favorite from Stanford on Saturday night, becoming the first Baylor player to take home college football's most famous trophy.

Right before his name was called, Griffin took a deep breath. When it was announced he broke into a bright smile, his face framed by his long braided hair. Then it was hugs all around, for his coaches, his parents, his sister and his fiance.

He took a few long strides up to the stage and let out a laugh when he got there, making a joke about the Superman socks — complete with capes on the back — he was wearing before going into his acceptance speech.

"This is unbelievably believable," he said. "It's unbelievable because in the moment we're all amazed when great things happen. But it's believable because great things don't happen without hard work."

Griffin started the season on the fringe of the Heisman conversation, a talented and exciting player on a marginal team, while Luck was already being touted as a No. 1 NFL draft pick.

Draft day might very well still belong to Luck, but Griffin diverted the Heisman to Waco, Texas, to a school that has never had a player finish better than fourth in the voting — and that was 48 years ago.

Griffin received 405 first-place votes and 1,687 points.

"Everybody associated with Baylor has a reason to celebrate tonight," he said.

Luck received 247 first-place votes and 1,407 points to become the fourth player to be Heisman runner-up in consecutive seasons and first since Arkansas running back Darren McFadden in 2006 and '07.

Luck was also first to congratulate Griffin

"It was so well-deserved by Robert Griffin," Luck said. "It was very hard to be upset."

Alabama running back Trent Richardson was third with 138 first-place votes and 978 points. Wisconsin running back Montee Ball (348 points) was fourth and the other finalist, LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu (327) was fifth.

Griffin's speech was as smooth as his game.

"If I can get everybody in the crowd to laugh it can make my speech a whole lot easier," he said later at his news conference, after showing off his blue and red socks with that familiar "S'' on the front.

Griffin is a big fan of superheroes and cartoon characters, and socks. His favorite socks: SpongeBob.

But make no mistake, even though he was expected by most to win, he said: "My heart was beating really, really hard. I could feel it in my chest like they all said."

Griffin's highlights were simply spectacular — his signature moment coming on a long, cross-field touchdown pass with 8 seconds left to beat Oklahoma — and he put up dizzying numbers, completing 72 percent of his passes for 3,998 yards with 36 touchdown passes and a nation-leading 192.3 efficiency rating.

More importantly, he lifted Baylor (9-3) to national prominence and one of the greatest seasons in school history. The 15th-ranked Bears won nine games for the first time in 25 years, beat the Sooners for the first time ever and went 4-0 in November.

That was after winning a total of four November games in their first 15 Big 12 seasons. And the last three games? Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas.

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