Robert Griffin III figures that the reality of his winning the Heisman Trophy will truly sink in sometime after Thursday night’s Alamo Bowl against Washington. But after he returned to Baylor’s campus in Waco, Tex., following the award ceremony in New York and watched video montages of the reaction to his victory, he quickly understood that his achievement would reach far beyond the statue.
“It gave me goose bumps,” said Griffin, the Bears’ quarterback. “People were breaking down, crying and shouting. You could feel the emotion and just all the years of pain and agony our fans have gone through and the people in this town had gone through.”
Griffin, Baylor’s first Heisman winner, has provided a transformative moment for a football program looking to raise its profile and money for a new $250 million stadium along the Brazos River. Should Griffin carve up the Huskies’ 116th-ranked pass defense and the Bears (9-3) win, it would mark only their second 10-victory season and continue a feel-good vibe that is being felt by those connected to the university, including donors.
“We obviously have to go out and raise the money for it, but there is an enormous amount of excitement,” Baylor’s president, Kenneth Starr, said of the stadium.