Robert Griffin III
By Sean Doerre
Special Contributor - Baylor Bear Insider
Fort Worth, Texas - Just over two months remain until the 2012 NFL Draft, but Robert Griffin III took a day off from a busy training schedule to formally accept the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award on Monday.
"It's an honor to receive this award," said Griffin III. "It is great to be part of an organization and an award that has had so many prestigious winners in the past. I am glad to be a part of that."
The ceremony held at The Fort Worth Club was the culmination of a process that started in early December when it was announced during The Home Depot College Football Awards show that RG3 was the first Baylor quarterback to win the prestigious award.
However, unlike that night in Orlando when much of the talk centered on Griffin III's accomplishments at Baylor, Monday's conversation focused on the upcoming NFL Draft and the Heisman Trophy winner's desire to be taken with the No. 1 pick.
"Whether I go No. 1 or not, it won't affect who I am, the confidence that I have or the fact that I think I am the best quarterback in this draft," RG3 said. "It is an honor to be in the NFL and I am just going to go into the process with an open mind and be grateful to be drafted by anybody."
Griffin III was joined at the ceremony by Baylor offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery, who took the opportunity to praise RG3's leadership off the field.
"He lives the way you want your children to grow up and live," said Montgomery. "He has done an outstanding job of not only representing our football program, but our university in general and we are awfully proud of him."
In preparation for the draft on April 28, Griffin III has been training in Arizona with quarterback guru Terry Shea. Points of emphasis during the training, according to RG3, have included footwork, NFL-type throws and schooling on the types of questions he will face from NFL front offices over the coming months.
"It is not the same as working with the guys at Baylor, the guys that I went to battle with game after game," Griffin III said. "It is an adjustment, because you start training with guys that you don't necessarily know, but at the end of the day you realize no matter how many times they are on TV or how many interviews they do, they are normal people just like you."
Through it all Griffin III has not lost his ability to captivate a room full of strangers. Just as he did on stage at the Broadway Theatre in New York while accepting the Heisman Trophy, RG3 showed off his sock choice. While Monday's sock selection featured an open-mouthed monster, Griffin III added a pair of socks to his collection during the ceremony. The Davey O'Brien Foundation presented him with a pair that was embroidered with the trophy's logo.
While draft experts have debated to which NFL team Griffin III will go, the quarterback stayed away from naming his preferred destination.
"I want to be the best, but I also want to be wanted," he said. "It's up to the ownership, the head coaches and all the people upstairs. If I am wanted by all of them, I am more than happy to go No. 1. If not, I would be happy to play for whoever wants me."
As to what he will be trying to convey to NFL teams at the combine, Griffin III said, "The best quality that I want to show the teams is that I fit in with their organization extremely well."
Griffin III even gave his prediction for the 2012 Baylor football season, "I think there is a lot of talent on that team. They can do many great things by continuing to climb that mountain and eventually go ahead and win a Big 12 Championship."
The day's festivities concluded with a dinner honoring Griffin, as well as former NFL quarterback Jim Kelly, who claimed the Davey O'Brien Legends Award, and the winner of The Foundation's High School Scholarship Award, Will Squiers.
Monday's event was just another stop on a seemingly endless tour for Griffin III that has prevented him from fully digesting the past few months.
"The biggest thing for me is that when I get drafted, I will be able to sit for maybe two or three days and let everything sink in," RG3 said. "We had a lot of great memories with the bowl game victory, 10 wins, a Heisman, beating Texas twice in a row, beating Oklahoma. These are all memories that I just need to sit back and enjoy, because I haven't had a chance to. Everything has just been a whirlwind."
Baylor fans will be enjoying those same memories for many years to come.