Less than a week after winning the Heisman Trophy, Baylor junior standout Robert Griffin III was named the Sporting News’ player of the year. The quarterback helped revitalize the flailing Baylor college football program, and helped propel them to a 9-3 record this season.

He put up monster numbers this year, throwing for 3,998 yards and 36 touchdown passes. But the award honors Griffin for his off-the-field leadership, too. Griffin’s father left his family a decade ago to go fight in Iraq.

Griffin impressed coaches from the start. “We got him in our camp and saw him throw the ball,” Baylor coach Art Briles said. “I looked at our coaches and said, ‘Fellas, we’ve got something special here. We have to hide him.’”

Griffin is now expected to leave Baylor and declare for the NFL Draft. “Whenever you ask me what are my plans, the first thing that comes out of my mouth is not to be an NFL player. I want to go to law school, I want to be a lawyer, maybe a sports agent. That’s the plan. All of that other stuff doesn’t matter until I’m done here at Baylor,” Griffin said.

[The Sporting News]