As history has written itself out already, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has had a spectacular football career dating back to his days at Copperas Cove High School in Texas.
If past production predicts future performance then Griffin III’s career trajectory could reach mind-blowing proportions. Of course nobody knows if that will indeed hold true, but he would have never gotten to the point his is at now if it weren’t for his playing days at Baylor University.
While Baylor will probably never get confused with the Alabamas and USCs of the world, Griffin III’s play did put the school, in the heart of the football crazed state of Texas, on the college football map. As his successful college career was playing out so too was Chip Kelly’s over 2,000 miles away at the University of Oregon.
Kelly’s innovative spread option system would have been the ideal fit for a quarterback with 4.4 speed and a cannon for an arm. While Griffin III committed to Baylor early he was briefly recruited by Kelly, who had day dreams of him wearing one of Oregon’s 39 (may be lowballing that number) different jersey combinations.
In Chip Kelly’s conference call with the Washington D.C. media earlier this week, he recalled the moment.
“We talked to him in the spring time and then he committed early,” Kelly said. “He never visited or anything so it’s not a big recruiting story. He never came on a visit, never came up to our campus so we never really did anything more – I think we talked to him on the phone and that was it.
“It was during spring recruiting that we talked to him and then that was it. He was one of the top quarterbacks in the country; he was also one of the top track guys in the country, but that was the extent of it… Yeah, we saw him as a quarterback, and again I never saw him in person or talked to him – I think we talked to him on the phone and that was about the extent of it.
Of course it doesn’t take the brain of an NFL coach to realize what sort of speed Griffin III’s possess, but Kelly’s awe of him in high school led him to say “he’s really fast.”
While Kelly’s offense when on to do great things every Saturday and the sensation that is Robert Griffin III would eventually transplant to Washington, D.C. with Heisman Trophy in hand, their paths never crossed in person.
“I never scouted him in person,” Kelly said. “Never had official visits or any of that stuff, never went to his high school.”
On Monday Kelly will have a front row seat for about three hours to imagine what could have been.
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