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Home News-Telegram Sports College Sports Baylor's Griffin wins O'Brien Award

Baylor's Griffin wins O'Brien Award

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Baylor's Robert Griffin was named the winner of the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top quarterback at the College Football Awards Show on Thursday night.
Griffin beat out Stanford's Andrew Luck and Houston's Case Keenum for the award.

"To win this award, I think will excite all of Baylor Nation," Griffin said. "It will excite all the fans we have out there to continue watching throughout the weekend to see what else we can collect and just realize that this has been a great year and we hope for continued success."

Griffin hopes the O'Brien Award is a prelude to winning the Heisman Trophy, which will be announced Saturday night in New York. Griffin is one of five finalists, along with Luck, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball.

"You just never know with these awards," Griffin said. "Like they say, momentum can help you out. We had a lot of momentum at the end of the year, but you never know who cast their votes and when they cast them. You just come here, anticipate the best, and go after that."

Griffin is the first Baylor quarterback to win the O'Brien Award, and joins safety Thomas Everett and punter Daniel Sepulveda as major award winners for the Bears in the last 25 years.

Everett won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back in 1986, and Sepulveda was the Ray Guy Award winner as the nation's top punter in 2004 and 2006.

"First of all, it's very deserving," Baylor coach Art Briles said. "You always anticipate these moments. But until they happen, you don't really fully appreciate them. And it was just a great feeling to see Robert feel so humbled and appreciative of such a great award as the Davey O'Brien Award. Because when they say it's given to the best quarterback in the nation, and you win that, that's saying a lot."

Baylor linebacker Mike Singletary won the Davey O'Brien Memorial Trophy in 1979 and 1980, when the award was presented to the most outstanding player in the Southwestern states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Since 1981, the O'Brien Award has been presented annually to the nation's top collegiate quarterback.

The O'Brien Award is based on the quarterback's skills, academics, character, leadership and sportsmanship.

Griffin was also named a second-team all-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation on Thursday, and a second-team Capital One academic all-American quarterback. He leads the nation in passing efficiency by hitting a school-record 72.6 percent for 3,998 yards and 36 touchdowns.

Luck was named the Walter Camp player of the year Thursday over finalists Griffin, Keenum, Mathieu and Richardson. Luck also won the Maxwell Award as player of the year.

Also in Orlando, Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon won the Fred Biletnikoff Award for the outstanding receiver for the second straight year.

Other award winners were Alabama's Trent Richardson (Doak Walker, outstanding running back), LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu (Chuck Bednarik Award, outstanding defensive player), LSU's Morris Claiborne (Jim Thorpe, best defensive back), Alabama's Barrett Jones (Outland, outstanding interior lineman), Texas A&M's Randy Bullock (Lou Groza, best place-kicker) and Louisiana Tech's Ryan Allen (Ray Guy, best punter).

In other postseason awards, Baylor tied a school record by placing four players on the Associated Press all-Big 12 first and second teams, including first teamers Griffin at quarterback and Kendall Wright at receiver. Center Philip Blake and running back Terrance Ganaway made the second team. Griffin was named the AP's Big 12 offensive player of the year Wednesday.

Seven players received honorable mentions on the AP squad -- offensive lineman Robert T. Griffin, linebacker Elliot Coffey, wide receiver Terrance Williams, defensive tackle Nicolas Jean-Baptiste and defensive backs K.J. Morton, Mike Hicks and Sam Holl.

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