Since the Associated Press began honoring an NFL Rookie of the Year following the 1967 season, only two quarterbacks have won the Heisman one year, then ROY the next: Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III, BA ’10.
The former Baylor All-American was named the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Saturday night, capping another year of proving the doubters wrong in his first season with the Washington Redskins. Griffin led the Redskins to their first NFC East championship and their first home playoff game since 1999; in the process, he became the first QB ever to win a Heisman one year, then lead an NFL squad to the postseason the next year.
RG3 became the first player ever to lead the NFL in both yards per pass and yards per rush, and he set NFL rookie records for passer rating, interception rate and rushing yards. Griffin also recorded the fewest interceptions of any QB this season with 20+ passing touchdowns, and he joined Randall Cunningham (1990) as the only players in NFL history with 3,000 passing yards and 800 rushing yards in a season.
For his efforts, Griffin beat out perennial favorites such as Drew Brees and Eli Manning in being named to the NFC Pro Bowl team — the second rookie QB ever to be named to a Pro Bowl original roster (joining Dan Marino).
A late-season knee injury was made worse playing on bad field conditions in the playoffs and led to reconstructive surgery on his right ACL, the same knee injury Griffin suffered as a sophomore at Baylor. Over the weekend, Griffin said he had “no doubt” that he’d be ready for the Redskins’ 2013 season opener.
Sic ’em, RG3!