• December 21, 2014

Griffin keeps focus on football ahead of bowl game

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Posted: Friday, December 30, 2011 12:00 pm | Updated: 11:32 am, Wed Sep 3, 2014.

By Alex Byington

The Cove Herald

Will he or won't he?

Along with all the questions have come "sourced" rumors and rampant speculation regarding the future of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Is he going to stay and help elevate Baylor into the realm of BCS contender or will the redshirt junior forgo his final year of college eligibility and declare for the 2012 NFL Draft?

As Baylor Nation sits in anticipation of a decision one way or the other, Griffin's father says the Copperas Cove product's sole focus was preparing for the Bears' appearance in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Thursday in San Antonio.

Of course, that doesn't mean the Griffin family is sitting idly by in the meantime.

While RGIII was doing his due diligence for the Washington Huskies, Robert Jr. and Jacqueline were doing their part to give their son all the information he needs to make an informed conclusion - including speaking with potential agents.

"If we were to wait until after the bowl to talk to anyone, that would necessitate a knee-jerk reaction and we don't do anything knee-jerk," Robert Jr. told the Daily Herald last week.

And with the announcement last week that Southern California junior quarterback Matt Barkley is staying in school, that decision just got a whole lot tougher.

Fresh off his Heisman Trophy win, Griffin's NFL draft stock is at an all-time high. Most pundits expect him to be the second quarterback taken behind consensus-No. 1 pick Andrew Luck of Stanford.

And with quarterback-needy teams such as Cleveland, Miami and Washington all likely picking in the Top 10 and potentially vying for his services now, Griffin could be among the most coveted players in this year's draft.

That could create the possibility for one team trading up into the Top 3 to get him.

Regardless of Griffin's ultimate verdict, his parents have contingency plans in place to support him with whatever he decides to do.

"Once he makes a decision, then we go into planning - that's what I do," his father said. "If he stays, (it's) OK Robert, this is what we need to look at. If he goes, we have a plan. So either way we have a plan."

Planning ahead

Robert Jr. confirmed that more than 30 agents have bombarded the family with interest in representing their son, many coming before RGIII even became a blip on the national radar with a season-opening upset of nationally-ranked TCU.

The family has since narrowed the list of potential agents to five "well-known" candidates.

"Only thing I can tell you is of the five people that we saw, they're up there," Robert Jr. said, adding any discussions with agents has been with the knowledge and assistance of the Baylor compliance office.

"Robert hasn't seen any of them. We asked them not to contact Robert, and anybody that does contact Robert we'd view as a breach of trust, and we'll look at that unfavorable," Robert Jr. said. "Most of the guys we talked to, they understand this is a process, and for us, we have four months under our belts (already)."

Griffin's parents held face-to-face meetings with three of the five prospective agents two weeks ago and met with the other two previously. The intent is to have RGIII sit down and meet with the agents once he's made up his mind to pursue the NFL. The deadline for college underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft is Jan. 15.

Focusing on Alamo

While his parents do the leg work behind the scenes, RGIII returned from his whirlwind week jet-setting from Orlando to New York and jumped right back into the motions of leading Baylor.

"His biggest thing is overcoming this tremendous nation that he eloquently told people about at the Heisman Trophy (ceremony). That's what we see as maybe his toughest thing - leaving Baylor," Robert Jr. said.

With Griffin leading the charge, putting his name all over the school's record books in the process, the 12th-ranked Bears have experienced their best season in more than 30 years.

After the Alamo Bowl, the Griffin family will take its annual vacation to visit family in New Orleans, after which Robert will have a decision to make by mid-January.

"This is a decision he has to make and stick with. And we feel he's going to make the right decision," his father said.

Contact Alex Byington at alexb@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7566. Find more sports at KDHpressbox.com.

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