Robert Griffin III won a Heisman Trophy in 2011 and helped Baylor win 10 games for the first time since 1980. Without those accomplishments, Baylor’s new $250 million home along the Brazos River never happens. There aren’t any plans now, but Griffin would be OK with his name being somewhere on the new stadium or field.
“I think it would be an honor. It’s not anything you ever ask for. If they say they want to do that for you, it’s truly humbling to think back on your college career, even though I’ve only been out of college for two years now,” Griffin said in a Wednesday teleconference. “We had a lot of fun and did a lot of great things, so I think coach deserves his name to be up there pretty soon, too.”
Art Briles said back in March it’s not something he’d want for himself, but perhaps the Redskins quarterback can remind Briles how few Baylor fans would object to Briles-Griffin Stadium or Briles-Griffin Field become a reality.
For now, though, Briles is enjoying his best team yet at Baylor, and Griffin’s enjoying watching them when he gets a chance. The Bears are 6-0 and ranked No. 8 in the BCS.
“It’s amazing. Baylor’s never really gotten the respect that I feel like it has earned over the past couple of years with the teams that we’ve beat,” Griffin said. “If we’re winning the conference, it’s because the conference is weak, not because Baylor is good. Those guys have a chip on their shoulder. It carried over for us to the pros. We have a chip on our shoulder. We’re real proud of those guys for what they’re doing.
He wasn’t interested in much discussion over whether or not the 2011 squad could take down Briles’ latest team.
“Let’s not make this a who’s the better team,” he said. “I want to see those guys go to the national championship and win it.”
Griffin’s only concession? This year’s team scores a whole lot faster than the one he quarterbacked two years ago. The Bears have scored at least 70 points in four of their last five games.
“Let’s just say coach wasn’t doing that when we were there. He wouldn’t let us score 70 a lot. Me, Kendall (Wright) and Terrance (Williams) have talked about it a bunch, but we understand what they’re doing right now,” Griffin said. “It’s not to embarrass other teams, it’s to improve their standing.”
Quarterback Bryce Petty is the nation’s leader in passer rating, completing over 70 percent of his passes for 15 touchdowns and just one interception.
“He’s been hungry the whole time. For him to come on and shine the way he has with the rest of the guys at Baylor, it’s heartwarming but it’s also well-deserved,” Griffin said. “You could see it coming, it was just a matter of him getting out there and playing and showing people what he can do. We already saw it. He just needed a little confidence in playing the game in live action with guys coming at him and making those plays. Now he has that confidence and you see what he’s done with it.”
Petty and running back Lache Seastrunk are both in the Heisman Trophy conversation, and receivers Tevin Reese and Antwan Goodley might earn Biletnikoff Award buzz by the end of the year as the nation’s best at the position.
“It’s the old saying they have there now: Confidence is a choice. Guys like myself, Kendall Wright, Terrance Williams, Phil Taylor, even starting back with Jason Smith, we helped build a foundation there,” Griffin said, “and those guys have carried it on.”