Robert Griffin III Biography

Football Player, Track and Field Athlete, Athlete (1990–)
Quarterback Robert Griffin III won the 2011 Heisman Trophy before emerging as a dynamic playmaker for the NFL's Washington Redskins.


Robert Griffin III was born on February 12, 1990, in Okinawa, Japan. A burgeoning world-class hurdler before focusing full-time on football, "RG3" won the 2011 Heisman Trophy as the nation's top collegiate player. Selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, he quickly emerged as one of pro football's most exciting and popular players before being slowed by injuries.

Early Life

Robert Griffin III was born on February 12, 1990, at the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. The son of army sergeants, he also lived in Fort Lewis, Washington and New Orleans before the Griffins settled in Copperas Cove, Texas.

Griffin attended Copperas Cove High School, where he displayed immense promise for both the football and track and field programs. As a junior, he established Texas state records in the 110-meter hurdles (13.55 seconds) and 300-meter hurdles (35.33), and was named the 2006-07 Gatorade Texas Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

As a senior quarterback, Griffin threw for 1,356 yards and 16 touchdowns, and rushed for another 1,285 yards and 24 touchdowns. He led Copperas Cove to a 13–2 record and an appearance in the Class 4A Division I state championship game.

Griffin committed to play for the University of Houston's Art Briles, one of the few college coaches who wanted to keep him at the quarterback position. When Briles was tapped to lead the Baylor University football program, Griffin decided to enroll at Baylor before graduating Copperas Cove High School a semester early.

A Legend Is Born

Griffin starred for the Baylor track and field squad during the 2008 spring semester, earning All-American honors after winning the Big 12 Conference championship in the 400-meter hurdles (49.22 seconds). He placed 11th in the 400-meter hurdles (49.38 seconds) at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials that summer, but soon gave up competitive running in order to concentrate on football full time.

Griffin jolted the struggling football team by passing for 2091 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushing for another 843 yards and 13 scores as a freshman. He missed most of the 2009 season with a torn ACL, but returned in 2010 to deliver a combined 4,136 passing and rushing yards and 30 touchdowns.

The 2011 season marked the emergence of "RG3" in the national spotlight. With his powerful arm and ability to outrun any defender, he led Baylor to a record-tying 10 wins and a No. 13 ranking in the final AP Poll. Griffin finished with 4,293 passing yards and 37 touchdowns against just six interceptions, and ran for another 699 yards and 10 touchdowns, overwhelming numbers that earned him the Heisman Memorial Trophy as college football's top player.

Griffin graduated in December 2011, once again a semester early, with a degree in political science. He was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.

NFL Career

Like he did at Baylor, Griffin instantly ignited the Redskins football team and a fan base that hadn't had much to cheer about in recent years. He threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns in a 40-32 season-opening win over the New Orleans Saints, and became the first rookie quarterback to win NFL Offensive Player of the Week honors in his debut game. A few weeks later, he was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for September.

Named a team captain, Griffin responded with a historic performance in a 31-6 blowout win over the Philadelphia Eagles on November 18. He completed 14 of 15 pass attempts, threw four touchdowns and rushed for 84 yards, earning a perfect 158.3 passer rating for the game and his second NFL Offensive Player of the Week award.

Following a high-profile Thanksgiving Day victory over the Dallas Cowboys, Griffin was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month a second time. However, his fortunes turned when he suffered a right knee sprain against the Baltimore Ravens on December 9. Griffin returned to action after a week off and helped the Redskins win their final two games, but reinjured his knee in a playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He finished with a first-year quarterback record 815 rushing yards and just five interceptions to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

After undergoing offseason surgery to repair his knee, Griffin missed the entire 2013 exhibition schedule. He returned to the field for the start of the season, but it soon became clear his knee was hindering his running abilities, and he also lacked the usual accuracy on his throws. With three games to go in the season, head coach Mike Shanahan determined the quarterback would be shut down to avoid the risk of another injury.

Griffin suffered a dislocated ankle early in 2014 and was benched for poor play late in the year, casting further doubt over his ability to regain the promise he had shown as a star rookie.

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