Heisman winner RG3 was a track star

Robert Griffin III, shown here as a junior in high school, was a Texas state champion in the hurdles. Kirby Lee/ESPNHS

Saturday was monumental for Baylor University and quarterback Robert Griffin III, who became the 77th Heisman Trophy winner during a ceremony at New York's Downtown Athletic Club.

But before he helped turn around the Baylor football program be came within a whisker of becoming a U.S. high school record holder in the 300-meter hurdles.

Griffin was the Texas 4A champion in the 110 and 300 hurdles and had a best of 35.33 seconds in the 300s -- just off the national record of 35.32 (George Porter, 1985). At the Great Southwest Classic, a postseason meet, Griffin had the record within his grasp but hit the final hurdle. He still finished with a meet record and 35.47.

Hours later on the same night, at the California state championships, Jeshua Anderson ran 35.28 to break the national record.

Griffin, a three-sport standout at Copperas Cove High School in Texas, was only a junior in 2007 but by the time January of what would have been his senior year of high school he had already graduated and enrolled at Baylor.

In June of 2008, wearing a Baylor uniform, Griffin competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene in the 400-meter hurdles. Just 18 years old at the time, he advanced to the semifinals but finished 11th in his bid to make the Olympic team.