Before the applause had completely died down after he was announced as the winner of the 2011 Heisman Trophy, it became almost a foregone conclusion that Robert Griffin III would be leaving Baylor following the 2011 season to chase his dream of a career in the NFL.
Wednesday, after reports had pointed in that direction in recent days, it became official.
At a press conference this afternoon — and wearing a pair of purple Barney socks — the quarterback announced the expected, that he’s leaving the Bears and making himself available for the NFL draft. Griffin stated at the press conference that he first met with head coach Art Briles about his NFL decision Monday, and that a final decision wasn’t made until Tuesday. He informed his teammates of the decision in a meeting shortly before the press conference.
The move to the NFL is largely based on how RGIII’s perceived at the next level; he’s projected to be selected within the first five picks of the April draft, perhaps as high as No. 2 behind Andrew Luck.
In addition to the Heisman, Griffin was awarded the Davey O’Brien Trophy, and was named the Associated Press’ and the Big 12′s Offensive Player of the Year following the 2011 season. He was also a consensus All-American selection.
Per the school’s release, Griffin III, who set or tied 54 school records in three full seasons at Baylor, finished the 2011 season with school records of 4,293 yards, 37 passing touchdowns and a passer efficiency rating of 189.5 (second-best in NCAA FBS history). RGIII finishes his collegiate career as one of three players in FBS history to top 10,000 career passing yards (school-record 10,366) and 2,000 career rushing yards (2,254).