There is a great tradition and folklore surrounding Texas and the game of football. The sport has spurred movies, books, and tales told throughout generations. This yearís college football campaign provided recognition for a remarkable young man, a homegrown Texan who provides inspiration to us all:† Robert Griffin III, the quarterback for the Baylor University Bears.
Earlier this month, Mr. Griffin ó or RG3. as he is known to Baylor fans ó was named the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner. This was Baylorís first-ever Heisman winner. In large part because of RG3ís unparalleled accomplishments on the football field, Baylor finished this football season ranked Number 15 nationally with a 9-3 record, including impressive victories over nationally ranked TCU, Oklahoma, and Texas.†
While Baylor and Big 12 fans have witnessed Griffinís football prowess, many more American sports fans will have the opportunity to watch him lead the ranked Bears in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29, 2011.
But it is not only his football talent that makes Robert such a remarkable young man; he is the model student-athlete.
An honor-roll student at Baylor, he graduated with a degree in Political Science in only three years ó with a 3.67 GPA! While he was leading the Bears on the gridiron this year, he was also studying for his masterís degree in communications. And he has indicated that he would like to attend law school, as well.
Robertís career at Baylor balances academics and athletics, and should serve as a role model for other aspiring young athletes.
The discipline to succeed was instilled in him at a very early age by his parents, Robert Jr. and Jacqueline Griffin, both Army non-commissioned officers, who laid the groundwork for his strong work ethic and sense of duty. A graduate of Copperas Cove High School just outside Ft. Hood, Robert was a top student and a three-sport star athlete ó he still owns the Texas high school records for the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles.
During his Baylor football career, Robert set 52 school records in passing, rushing, and total offense. He has thrown for an incredible 10,070 yards and 77 touchdowns, while rushing for 2,220 yards and 32 touchdowns. During his extraordinary 2011 Heisman season, Robert passed for almost 4,000 yards and 36 touchdowns, while rushing for 655 yards and seven touchdowns. Itís no surprise that he also earned the 2011 Davey OíBrien Award, presented annually to the best NCAA quarterback.†
On Saturday, Dec. 10, Robert Griffin III was overwhelmingly recognized as the best college football player of the year. His Heisman acceptance speech in New York was as gracious as it was eloquent.
Congratulations to Robert Griffin III for an incredible season that enters the history books; to his family, who provided the foundation for his abilities and accomplishments; to his teammates; and to the entire Baylor Nation.
Kay Bailey Hutchison is the senior U.S. Senator from Texas.