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RG3 adjusting to life as a Heisman winner

12/21/2011

Robert Griffin III quickly discovered there are a few things they don't tell you about winning a Heisman Trophy.

For one, sleep is at a minimum for players selected to attend the Heisman presentation in New York.

"I was booked from 6 in the morning until 9 at night on Saturday and Sunday, and then on Monday, so it was really crazy," Griffin said.

The result was a five-day stretch in which the man best known as RG3 spent a whole lot more time fulfilling pre- and post-award media obligations than he did sleeping. Most nights, he only managed about four hours of sleep before waking for another full day.

He left for the Home Depot College Football Awards on Tuesday, Dec. 6, and didn't return to Waco, Texas, until a week later.

"I felt like I was gone for two months with all the stuff we had done," Griffin said. "It’s crazy, you leave one week and you come back seven days later and you have a Heisman Trophy and a Davey O’Brien Award."

After Saturday's performance, Griffin made appearances on "The Late Show with David Letterman” to deliver the nightly Top Ten list. He made appearances on CNN and stopped by "The Early Show." Not exactly standard media fare for a college football player. In the meantime, he signed 280 footballs to be auctioned off by the Heisman Trust.

"Once you win it, it’s a whirlwind, and you’ve got to try and make sure you stay grounded and just realize that you’re doing all this stuff for a reason," Griffin said. "You’re doing it for your school."

That's the biggest reason why nothing Griffin experienced over the past week topped what he saw Sunday morning after the Heisman ceremony.

"The best part to me was to wake up the next day and see the reactions on the Internet from Waco, Texas," Griffin said. "If you can watch that kind of stuff and know exactly what Baylor’s been through, that’s pretty moving."

He made his way back to Waco at 5:20 on Tuesday afternoon. Forty minutes later, bowl practices began at Baylor's facilities after an unofficial celebration and the trophy's debut with Griffin's teammates.

Once practice ended, Griffin went home and slept "for a long time" to catch up from his whirlwind week in Manhattan.

Wednesday night, Griffin made a grand entrance with the trophy at halftime of a Baylor basketball game, delivering a speech after a highlight video and giving Bears fans a chance to celebrate with him. He was scheduled to go back and receive a key to his hometown of Copperas Cove, Texas, on Thursday, but that celebration has been postponed until after 9-3 Baylor faces Washington in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 to give Griffin a chance to direct his focus back to football.

"I don’t think it’s hit me yet," Griffin said. "Just to be able to bring a trophy like that and the recognition that comes with it to Baylor and the city of Waco is huge. So I’m just happy I could make a lot of people proud."

Even athletes such as LeBron James and Michael Vick offered congratulations last Saturday night via Twitter, along with endless handshakes and congratulations from Heisman winners in attendance. Griffin's not on the social networking site, but it didn't take long for word to spread.

"I heard about LeBron and Michael Vick and all that. I really don’t look too much into that stuff," Griffin said. "It’s obviously an honor to hear congratulations from such big stars like them and Barry Sanders and a lot of these other Heisman winners who have been giving me a lot of love. It’s a big honor, and a lot of responsibility comes with holding Heisman Trophy winner in front of your name."

The name Robert Griffin III will forever be preceded by "Heisman Trophy winner," but he says it won't weigh into his impending decision to either forego his final year of college eligibility and enter the NFL draft or return to Baylor for his "senior" season. Griffin graduated in December 2010.

"You don’t want to come back because you lose the Heisman and you don’t want to leave because you won," he said. "So that’s the way I look at it."

For now, he's just adjusting to life after winning college football's most prestigious individual award.

"It definitely is a fraternity," he said. "I never thought I’d join one, but I’m glad I was able to join this one."