HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Shutdown Corner spent a little time with Washington Redskins quarterback (and reigning Heisman Trophy winner) Robert Griffin III at the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Awards in Hollywood on Tuesday. As the purpose of the awards dinner was to honor the best and brightest from around the country -- both athletically and scholastically -- we started out by asking RGIII about his own high school days at Copperas Cove High School in Copperas Cove, Texas, where he was a Rivals.com four-star recruit ... and quite the track star as well.
"Definitely winning the Gatorade Texas Track Athlete of the Year was awesome," Griffin said of the award he won in 2007. "It's hard to pull just one thing from high school, but if there's one thing I miss, it's just the boys. Those are the guys you literally grew up with, from when you were in preschool all the way to when you were in high school. You can't find that kind of relationship ever again. But hopefully I can build toward that in the pros."
Few would question Griffin's pure football abilities, and though the learning curve from the NCAA to the NFL is a steep one for any quarterback, even a cursory look at his Baylor game tape will tell you that the physical abilities are there. For Griffin, the real challenge with the Redskins is to answer the confidence the Redskins placed in his by trading up from the sixth overall pick to the second to get him, and by naming him the starter as soon as they possibly could.
"People don't realize that it is work," he said. "Guys are getting fired or laid off, just like [everybody else]. And it is cut-throat. So to go in and be able to lead men like that -- it's a challenge. But I think I've proven thus far that I've been able to lead them. That's my goal -- to be the guy they know they can rely on."
It's early yet, and there's no doubt that RGIII will face some daunting challenges in the NFL, but it's pretty tough to bet against him.
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