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Meet the Press: Heisman Trophy Announcement

  Junior Quarterback Robert Griffin III

On being selected as a finalist:
"I was a little nervous and that's how it's supposed to feel. You're not supposed to anticipate being invited or winning the award, you're supposed to be nervous about it, so these guys who were here with me really helped push me through the season and helped us win nine games with the opportunity to win 10."

On not knowing if he would be a finalist:
"Like I said, that's how it is, that's how it's supposed to be. You're not supposed to feel like you're owed anything, so I was nervous just like everybody else was, and then we got our name on the list."

On whether the field is narrowed now that finalists have been announced:
"Yeah, it is narrowed and I'm sure it will be a really close vote. As you saw, with Robert Smith's picks I was third and in Eddie George's I was first, so you never know what will happen, but we'll enjoy the ceremony, me and my family with coach Briles and everyone else who comes."

On whether having family here for the announcement was helpful:
"Yes and I wish I could take them all with me. Maybe the Heisman Trophy Trust will let me get a few more extra tickets, but I'm sure they won't give me that many."

On what he is looking forward to the most in New York:
"The opportunity to sit through that ceremony and be in a room with a group of guys that have established greatness. Like coach Briles said, that award is only handed out once a year, so if you get the chance, you make the most of it, so that's why he's given me the opportunity to go to New York and not have to stay here with the team and do team activities that we'll be doing. You know I'll do as much as I possibly can to make sure I'm still ready."

On how proud his is to be representing Baylor University:
"I'm extremely proud and, Baylor Nation, we're in there now we just have to go try to snatch it. Hopefully the vote turns out our way, but being invited is an honor. It's not all that we want, but it's a starting spot."

On whether he was more relieved or excited:
"Both. You're excited about it because you get the opportunity to represent your school and the city of Waco, and you're relieved because, like I said, the pressure is off, but the anticipation was still there and you never know what will happen. You never know how people are going to vote. They voted in our favor and now we're going to New York."

On his confidence going into the ceremony as compared to after the Texas game:
"The way I said that, it came off wrong to some people, but I was just saying they told us we had to beat Texas and we beat them decisively. They said we couldn't do it against a big-time defense, we did it against them, so that's why I said Baylor won its first Heisman Trophy, but you never know. I'll still be confident whether they call my name or not."

On what it means for Baylor to be represented on such a big stage:
"It's huge. It's big for our program and shows the direction that we're going in - that we can get a guy into the finals for the Heisman Trophy, one of the most prestigious awards out there, so it's huge. It'll show recruits that you can come to Baylor and make a difference. That's why me and coach Briles came here, and that's why a lot of these guys in this room are here, to make a difference, and we're doing it."

On the support he had:
"It was great. These are the guys that I play with. Obviously all of them couldn't show up by either being out of town or whatever they had, but the guys that did show up [provided] great support. They tell me all the time every day that it's an honor to play with a guy in the running for the Heisman and I tell them that the only reason I'm there is because of them."

On the rest of the finalists:
"They're all great players. Nobody said that if you're a finalist, you're not a great player, so all those guys are extremely gifted, talented, and we'll see who comes out on top. It'll be interesting to meet them all and see how strong Trent Richardson really is."

On when he thought he could be a finalist:
"We started the season pretty hot, so everyone was talking about it, but after our few losses, we kind of just dropped off the scene. We knew against Oklahoma that we'd have a chance to win the game if we just played the way we knew how to play. Really, after that game, going from not being talked about to the frontrunner of the Heisman let us know we had a chance to get in there. The guys realized that, I realized that and we went on and finished the season strong."

On what it would mean for Baylor to have a Heisman winner:
"I'm sure you guys can explain that a lot better than I can, but it would be monumental, not only for Baylor, but the city of Waco. It's big for coach Briles and everybody on this coaching staff. Not everyone can say that they've played with or coached a Heisman Trophy winner or have that ability to have the ability to have the Heisman trophy even near them, so it's huge."

On the idea of being "Heisman Trophy Winner, Robert Griffin III:
"It's huge and I've talked to a lot of people earlier this week after the game. You don't ever see yourself right here. You dream it, you want to be there, but when you actually get there you're still like, "I can't believe this is happening." I'm blessed to be able to represent Baylor, blessed that I came to this university, and just blessed that the guys on this team showed the grit that they did to get us nine wins and get our name out there."

On whether he had thought about the announcement:
"Yes, at this point, all you can do is sit back and think ... Coach kind of felt like it was a guarantee that we were going to New York just based on how we played this year and how we finished, but like I said, you don't ever feel like you're owed anything. You're still nervous. I was nervous, my heart was pounding and it's exciting, really exciting."

On fighting through the nerves:
"They said it would be announced at 5 (p.m.) and then it's "5:15!" I was just like, "oh, alright, just keep me on ice for 15 more minutes, please." I talked to coach Briles, talked to a lot of the guys and it helped pass the time - that way you're not sitting there twittling your thumbs and tapping your foot."

On what it means to come from Copperas Cove, Texas to here:
"Like I said, it's huge, monumental. You can think of all the names you want to, but it just shows you that you can do anything you put your mind to. It doesn't matter where you're from, where you live, how many people are in your family, or how many people are in your high school. You can do it if you push for it and I'm excited to go out and be a messenger to everybody just to keep pushing forward. If you really want something, go get it. Don't wait because nobody's going to give it to you."

On whether he ever saw this as a possibility:
"It's always a dream. You watch the Heisman when you're in high school and say "I want to win that award." You don't say it falsely, especially as a quarterback, because you have all eyes on you. You're going to have the opportunity to win an award like that if you play well. Like I said earlier, on TV, I carry myself as the best and I work myself like I am the best and that's how you become the best. The Heisman is a pretty good indicator that you're one of the best in the nation and I'm just glad that our team is up there too. We're 12th in the BCS, highest ever. It's just a phenomenal year and you couldn't ask for more even though we do have three losses."

On whether he expects to be able to talk if he wins:
"It'll be awesome and I'll probably be at a loss for words. My mouth will probably drop, but that's how it's supposed to be. You're supposed to be shocked, excited, and bring it home. Then, we can go win the bowl game."

On whether he has spoken with the other finalists:
"No, I've always said I look at other players from other teams whether they're quarterbacks, running backs, or corners as competition. We don't play the SEC, but they're still competition. We don't play the Big 10 or Pac-12, so I don't really talk to many guys. I don't reach out to them. If they reach out to me, I'm more than willing to talk to them, but, like I said, I have to focus on the guys I have here and not associate with high-caliber athletes."

  Head Coach Art Briles

Opening Statement:
"First and foremost, it's a huge moment for Robert and his family and all that he's done throughout his career to get to this point because this just doesn't happen. It's not all of a sudden you're a Heisman Trophy finalist. You have to prepare yourself, you have to perform and do things the right way.

"He epitomizes everything you have to be to become a complete football player on and off the field and that's why he's a finalist.

What winning would do for Baylor University:
"What it would do for the university is unequalled in modern history at Baylor. It certainly puts us on the national level with other elite programs across the nation over the last three or four decades.

"We've had a lot of firsts over the last few years, it's time to have one more. We might have to put that (winning the Heisman) at the top of the list, no doubt."

On finding a place to potentially put Heisman Trophy: "We'll let him carry it around in his back pack, if he wants to. It's wherever he wants it, because it's his. Our team was extremely proud of him. And that's the thing about it is they exude a lot of confidence in him and vice versa. And that's the great thing about it is we're all playing together for the same cause, and that's to make Baylor football the best it can be."

On being pumped about going to New York:
"Dadgum right. I'm proud, I'm excited."

On how he felt going into today:
"You know, really pretty calm, because we certainly felt like Robert had done enough throughout the year to be a finalist, if not the winner. So now that's in the hands of all the votes. We certainly felt like he had a great opportunity to be invited to New York. And now, it's just like we're going into a game. We're not going down there to compete, we're going down there to win. So hopefully it will work out that way. "

On what it means to coach a Heisman finalist:
"It's a first, so you're asking me about something that I haven't had experience with. But I think it's just a tribute really to him and how he's prepared and how our team has played and how we've progressed and how we've grown on the national scene in a positive manner. So all those things have to happen for him to have this opportunity. This didn't just start today. This started with him when he first started competing, all the way up through high school and through his collegiate career. And he's just got increasingly better all the way through, and he's not through yet."

On when he thought Griffin III could be a finalist:
"After TCU, no doubt. You're talking about beating the defending Rose Bowl champions that had the longest streak in America. And to beat them in the fashion we beat them and the way he beat them and the plays he made in the clutch, which he's continued all year, certainly gets you on a national stage. And it did."

On what it would mean for football program to have a Heisman Trophy winner:
"It would be fun to touch the trophy every day, I can promise you that. The great thing about Robert is that if he does win, which we certainly hope he will, it won't change Robert, because Robert's a man of his own character, his own beliefs and his own direction. And he'll still grounded and stay that way. That's what makes him special."



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