Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III decided Tuesday to forgo his final season of college eligibility and enter the 2012 NFL Draft, according to multiple sources.
ESPN, citing an anonymous family member, first reported that the Baylor redshirt junior was going pro and is in the final stages of picking an agent. Tuesday night, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press that Griffin opted to declare for the draft. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Griffin had not yet made an official announcement. Griffin's father, Robert Griffin II, originally said Griffin III would make a decision whether to stay or go to the draft on Tuesday, and through text messages with the Daily Herald would neither confirm nor deny ESPN's reports, adding, "He has not talked to coach (Art Briles) yet."
Baylor officials indicated this week the possibility of a news conference on campus as early as today. But there was nothing officially scheduled late Tuesday.
Griffin III, a former Copperas Cove standout, is expected to be one of the top-five players taken overall in April's draft, and is considered the second-best quarterback behind consensus No. 1-pick Andrew Luck of Stanford.
Earlier Tuesday, Baylor sports information director Heath Nielsen posted on Twitter: "I have spoken with Robert Griffin III this afternoon & he does not plan to make any announcements today (Tuesday)."
Sunday is the deadline for collegiate underclassmen to declare for the draft.
Griffin had another season of eligibility remaining at Baylor because he received a medical redshirt after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee in the third game of the 2009 season.
Griffin III capped arguably Baylor's most memorable season in its 110-year history, and apparently his collegiate career, by spearheading a return of the Bears (10-3) to national relevancy within the college football landscape.
If this was his final season in college, Griffin III ended it in style, leading Baylor to six straight wins to end the season, capped by a record-shattering 67-56 victory over Washington in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 securing its first bowl win since 1992 and only the program's second-ever 10-win season (1980).
Griffin III would finish his college career with a school-record 10,366 passing yards, 78 touchdowns on 790-of-1,182 passing (66.8 percent) and 2,273 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns on the ground. His 12,639 yards of total offense and 111 combined touchdowns are also school records.
This season, Griffin III established himself as the pre-eminent quarterback in Baylor history, securing the school record for passing yards in a single game (479 against Oklahoma), single season (4,293) and career (12,639).
With the Alamo Bowl victory, Griffin also tied J.J. Joe (1990-93) as the starting quarterback with the most wins in program history. Griffin's 23-17 record equals the wins in Joe's 23-15 mark.
Griffin's 2,254 career rushing yards puts him fifth on the school's all-time list first among quarterbacks while his 33 career rushing TDs are the second-most in school history. In all, Griffin owns 33 separate school records.
Along with winning the Heisman, Griffin III won the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's best quarterback, earning first-team All-American status by leading the nation in passing efficiency with an 189.5 percent rating, breaking the prior NCAA mark of 186.0 set by Hawaii's Colt Brennan in 2006.
Griffin III graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science in December of 2010, and he is only a little more than a semester away from earning his master's degree in communications. He's also said multiple times he'd like to enter law school at Baylor.
Copperas Cove plans to honor Robert Griffin III at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Copperas Cove High School gymnasium, 400 S. 25th St. The ceremony is free and open to the public.