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Baylor’s Griffin wins Heisman

Stanford’s Luck is runner-up again

By Ralph D. Russo
Associated Press / December 11, 2011
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NEW YORK - Robert Griffin III beat out preseason favorite Andrew Luck for the Heisman Trophy, dazzling voters with his ability to throw, run, and lead Big 12 doormat Baylor into the national rankings.

The junior quarterback known as RG3 became the first Heisman winner from Baylor last night by a comfortable cushion over the Stanford star.

Right before his name was called, Griffin took a deep breath. When it was announced he broke into a bright smile.

“This is unbelievably believable,’’ he said. “It’s unbelievable because in the moment we’re all amazed when great things happen. But it’s believable because great things don’t happen without hard work.’’

Griffin received 405 first-place votes and 1,687 points.

Luck received 247 first-place votes and 1,407 points to become the fourth player to be Heisman runner-up in consecutive seasons and first since Arkansas running back Darren McFadden in 2006 and ’07.

“Very much well deserved,’’ Luck said of Griffin’s win.

Alabama running back Trent Richardson was third with 138 first-place votes and 978 points. Wisconsin running back Montee Ball (348 points) was fourth and LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu (327) was fifth.

Griffin put up dizzying numbers, completing 72 percent of his passes for 3,998 yards with 36 touchdown passes, and a nation-leading 192.3 efficiency rating.

He also lifted Baylor (9-3) to national prominence and one of the greatest seasons in school history. The 15th-ranked Bears won nine games for the first time in 25 years.

The previous Heisman standard at Baylor was quarterback Don Trull’s fourth-place finish in 1963.

Luck was the front-runner from the moment he surprised many by returning for one more season instead of jumping to the NFL. He didn’t disappoint, with 3,170 yards passing, 35 touchdown passes, a completion percentage of 70 percent, and a rating of 167.5.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 220-pounder with sprinter’s speed ran for 644 yards and nine touchdowns. He grabbed plenty of headlines and attention early on, ending the first month of the season with more touchdown passes than incompletions.

He has yet to announce whether he will return for a senior year.

He has left little doubt that he’s a pro prospect, though he’s got one more game - the Alamo Bowl against Washington Dec. 29 in San Antonio - to show his stuff.

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