Baylor junior quarterback Robert Griffin III beat out Stanford’s Andrew Luck to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday evening, standing out this year for his ability to throw, run and lead Baylor into the national rankings.
The 21-year-old, who was born in Japan to two U.S. Army sergeants and grew up in Texas, is the first player from Baylor to ever win the Heisman.
The 6’2”, 220-pound Griffin received 405 first-place votes and 1,687 points while Luck received 247 first-place votes and 1,407 points.
Just before the winner’s name was announced, Griffin took a deep breath, and when his name was called, he broke into a big smile and gave a round of hugs.
He then took the podium and said, “This is unbelievably believable. 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… The hotter the heat, the harder the steel. No pressure, no diamonds.”
Luck, who started the season as a favorite to win the trophy, congratulated Griffin and said to him, “Very much well deserved.” At the beginning of the season, Luck was rumored to be a No.1 NFL draft pick, with Griffin just on the fringe of the Heisman conversation.
According to the Heisman Trophy Trust, this year Griffin completed 267 of 369, or 72 percent, of his passes for 3,998 yards with 36 touchdown passes. He leads the nation with a 192.3 passing efficiency rating.
Griffin led Baylor to national prominence, giving the school one of the best seasons in its entire history. For the first time in 25 years, the Bears won nine games, beat the Sooners for the first time in history, and in November went 4-0.
Griffin will be officially honored on Dec. 12 at the 77th annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Award Dinner at the Marriott Marquis in New York.