- David Ubben, College Football
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WACO, Texas -- Above the players' gate leaving the Allison Indoor Facility at Baylor reads just one request: "Finish Strong."
At his final public workout before the NFL draft, Robert Griffin III did exactly that.
Not only did he finish strong, he finished in style.
In a nod to Baylor's Sweet 16-bound hoops team, Griffin and his receivers donned matching neon yellow "Electricity" socks, identical to the ones worn by the hoops Bears.
"Robert signed with adidas, so we all just wanted to come out here and look like Robert," receiver Kendall Wright said with a laugh.
Over the stadium stereo, Griffin played a hand-picked soundtrack including old-school tracks from the late Notorious B.I.G., simulating a familiar environment for Baylor's practices, which feature constant music while players are on the field.
"I don't think you'll hear 'Thriller' at any other pro days," Griffin said of the final track of the day, offering fitting background noise to the final pass of Griffin's workout, caught by Griffin from Wright, a former high school quarterback.
Every other passing workout during their four years together ended with the play they called "Baylor Magic." Why wouldn't the final one end the same way?
The final tally for Griffin?
With his (probable) future bosses, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and owner Daniel Snyder, watching from the sidelines, Griffin completed 78 of 84 passes with four drops.
This coming the morning after dining with Redskins brass, along with Griffin's fiancée (a Denver Broncos fan who was wowed by meeting former Broncos coach Shanahan for the first time) and parents.
Griffin set out to craft a relaxed, normal atmosphere on Wednesday, and did that as best he could, with 130 media members peering at every throw and 70-plus NFL personnel looking on as well.
"We wanted it to not be so uptight like the combine can be," said Griffin, who paused between throws for congratulatory hip bumps with teammates and bobbed his head to the music between throws, too. "We wanted it to be loose."
Griffin's work is done. It's a near certainty that his future destination is the nation's capital (which he has visited three times, including a National Prayer Breakfast last month).
The relief was clear, and after catching the final pass of the day, he celebrated by pretending the football was a bomb that exploded on the final touchdown, blowing over Griffin and his receivers.
Any NFL-aspiring quarterback has to get through his pro day, but for Griffin, his true work was done long before today's pomp and circumstance, which was a four-hour celebration of Baylor football (and adidas).
"I didn't have anything to prove at pro day, and that's why it was so easy. It's not stressful when you don't feel like you have to prove anything," Griffin said. "The game tape speaks for itself, and it does for a lot of people. Your game tape is going to tell everybody who you are. Today is just coming out and confirming it."
Griffin's game tape added up and told the country he was the best player in college football for the 2011 season. Some people voted and gave Griffin a trophy -- most call it the Heisman -- to commemorate that accomplishment.
Now, he'll move to the next stage of his career, where he most definitely has plenty to prove.
"Everybody's going to say, 'I'll come and work hard. I'll be dedicated,'" he said. "But I mean it when I say it. I won't just come in there and be flamboyant and act like I'm the man, I'm the leader. You have to earn respect from players. I'll do it from the inside out, from the players and the organization to the fans. All the players will get recognition for what we do, not just myself. I'm looking forward to going out there and having fun ... and my definition of fun is winning."
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