Robert Griffin III Prepares For NFL Draft, Talks Peyton Manning From Super Bowl 2012
Yes, Robert Griffin III will sign that football pylon or traffic cone or whatever it is that you're carrying. Even if you are chasing him down with it as he heads to a car on the streets of Indianapolis, he will graciously give you with his autograph if you'd like.
Because RG3 gets it. What exactly does he get? Perhaps he's just played enough high school and college football in Texas to learn not to disappoint enthusiastic fans -- particularly those moving at full speed and wielding anything. Or, maybe, his parents -- both former U.S. Army sergeants -- instilled in him certain notions about how to treat others. It could also be that Griffin has learned that what once seemed unbelievable is achievable if you handle your business with discipline and attention to detail.
"Fans will be fans and when they're excited they're willing to do anything to get an autograph," Griffin told The Huffington Post. "So, I'm not going to tell them to calm down."
Needless to say, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner has plenty of experience in generating excitement. Griffin lifted a Baylor football team that didn't receive any votes in the preseason polls conducted by either the Associated Press or USA Today, and was ranked No. 58 in the nation in preseason poll published by The Sporting News all the way to No. 12 in the BCS standings at the close of the regular season.
After putting the Baylor football program on the map during a tour-de-force campaign that included landmark wins over Oklahoma and Texas as well as an epic 67-56 win over Washington in the Alamo Bowl, Griffin enters the NFL Draft without a clear idea of where he'll be spending the next few years of his life. According to some NFL mock drafts, RG3 could be heading to the Redskins at the No. 6 spot. Others think that the Browns could snag him with the fourth overall pick. It's also possible that the Rams could deal the second pick to either Cleveland or to Washington, who would presumably make RG3 the second player off the board. All of those scenarios presume that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has his name called by the Indianapolis Colts with the first overall selection.
Of coures, if the Colts were to follow the lead of Heisman voters and eschew Luck in favor of Griffin then he'd be overjoyed to head back to Indianapolis, where he is spending Super Bowl Week as part of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. And unlike Luck who seems to be chafing at the idea of being anyone's understudy, Griffin seems genuinely enthusiastic about the opportunity to follow his collegiate career by getting a master's degree in quarterbacking under the the tutelage of Peyton Manning.
While not signing autographs from over-eager fans or prepping for the draft at the GSSI, RG3 found a few minutes to speak with The Huffington Post about the reasons he believes he will succeed on Sundays and why he would welcome the chance to learn his craft from Manning if drafted by the Colts.
On Getting To Learn From Peyton Manning
You can't just say it enough, how much that would mean to a quarterback's career to learn from a great. Aaron Rodgers did it with Brett Favre, Steve Young did it with Joe Montana. All these guys have benefited from it and hopefully I'll be able to do the same.
On The Colts Looking To Draft A Quarterback
You know it's hard to comment on that situation but obviously Peyton has done great things for the Colts, for the city of Indianapolis and I don't think that can be emphasized enough. So, whatever happens, I hope Peyton gets to stay here; and if I did get drafted to the Colts, it would be an honor to play behind him.
On Entering The NFL
It is a business. It's an industry and I'm just happy to be one of the workers. So, I'm going to work my hardest to go out there and do great things for whatever team decides to take me and make sure that I'm always focused on what's important. And, you know, that's faith, family and football.
On Heisman Hype Preparing Him For The NFL
I think it has. And that's why [when] everyone asks me where do I want to go, I have no preference. Just because, wherever I do get drafted, I want to be excited about the place that I'm at and not be disappointed that I didn't go somewhere else. I'm just keeping an open mind and going from there. You have to be mentally tough throughout this whole process and not try to hold anything against anybody if they don't draft you.
On Success At Baylor Mentally Preparing Him For NFL
Yeah, I mean it does and, more so, the fact that I know it takes more than one guy to go out there and change anything. You can be a catalyst for change but change never really entirely happens just because of one guy. So, I'm looking forward to joining my new teammates, whoever they may be, and I'm looking to build something that will last, not only for one or two years but 10, 15 years down the road.
On Getting Himself Physically Ready For The NFL
For a lot of kids growing up, we always focus on what we're wearing and what we're putting on our body and what I've heard from a lot of great players is that it's even more important what you put in your body. That's what Gatorade is trying to get around to (RG3 fans who want to see him in action or chat live at the GSSI can visit the Gatorade Facebook page). It's not just about hydration, it's about nutrition. And if your nutrition is off the charts then you can play a lot longer and play a lot better.
I just was in Washington, D.C. doing a prayer breakfast with the president and I met Darrel Green and he's a guy that, I think, played for, like, 20 years. And, I asked him, 'How'd you do that?' His first response was, 'God." And his second was, 'Nutrition.' If you take care your body and you work out constantly and you never lose sight of your goals then you can go out and be successful.
On His Game Translating To The NFL
I think if you're a good high school player that you have the ability to be a good college football player. If you're a good college football then you have the ability to be a great NFL player. It's not about talent once you get to the NFL because everyone's got it. It's about being willing to go that extra mile to be the best and that's something that I've always done. I've always gone that extra mile and if I have to go two or three to be the best in the NFL then I'm willing to do that.
On His Background Preparing Him For The NFL
I credit my parents because they always told me, 'Follow your dreams' and 'If you say you're going to do something, you go out and do it and once you start it, you finish it.' You know, I started this process of being a football player and I'm going to make it to the NFL very soon and I plan on finishing that. And by 'finishing that,' I mean that I'm going to go out and be the best that I can be and put everything forth to make that happen.