Heisman profile: Robert Griffin III

Updated: September 6, 2011, 11:58 AM ET
By Ryan McGee

On Tuesdays, Ryan McGee will profile the most compelling names in the Heisman race, examining them from the perspective of coaches, scouts and stats to evaluate each candidate's chance of bringing home college football's top individual honor.

This week, his subject is Robert Griffin III of the Baylor Bears.

One of the greatest indicators that college football season is drawing closer is when preseason Heisman propaganda starts arriving in my mailbox. This year the first hype tchotchke to roll in was a very slick trading card touting the skills of Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, and info on its new RG3 website.

"That's nice," I thought. "But he's a fringe Heisman candidate at best." Then I threw it into a drawer.

In my defense, I was not alone in my reasoning. StiffArmTrophy.com's preseason poll of 66 Heisman voters had Griffin as the seventh-best quarterback and ranked 11th overall between USC's Matt Barkley and Wisconsin's Russell Wilson.

On Friday night, right about the time Griffin was tossing his fifth touchdown pass, I ran back to that drawer and started digging for that card. And I'm thinking a quick do-over at Stiff Arm would have him much higher. Why? Because of a 21-for-27, 359-yard, 5-TD (not to mention one huge reception) night that took place: (A) against TCU, one of the nation's most heralded defenses and (B) in a virtually unopposed national prime-time TV slot and launched him right into the thick of the early-season Heisman conversation.

To read Ryan McGee's full story on Griffin III, including evaluations from NFL scouts and a comparison to Michael Vick, sign up for ESPN Insider.