The top two picks in the 2012 NFL Draft are both amazing talents and stories, but neither would be in their current position if Robert Griffin III hadn’t made a last-minute change of commitment back in 2007. Griffin got an offer to play football at Stanford University from then-head coach Jim Harbaugh and appeared ready to join the Cardinal after spending an hour chatting in Harbaugh’s office. At the end of the meeting, Harbaugh believed he was going to have the top two quarterback prospects in the nation at the same time on the same team.
Andrew Luck had already committed to Stanford when Griffin went for a visit and that was the final straw for the Copperas Cove, Texas, product. Griffin wasn’t on board for Harbaugh’s planned two-quarterback system and opted to play for the University of Houston, located in Luck’s hometown.
“I thought about it, but when you look at it, two-quarterback systems hardly ever work,” Griffin said. “So I had to make the right call for myself at that time.”
“Thought we were really doing well with Robert,” Harbaugh said. “Loved looking at his transcript. He was a 4.0 student in high school. His test scores were extremely high. I mean, this to me was a Stanford guy. This was a Stanford kid. And then … he was going to go to Houston. That left a bruise. I really liked Robert. I really wanted Robert on our team. And I’ve been a big fan of his ever since.”
The decision was obviously the best one as Luck will go No. 1 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft to the Indianapolis Colts and Griffin will go No. 2 to the Washington Redskins. This is the first time in nearly 15 years that the top two picks in the draft will be quarterbacks, so it’s obvious that Luck and Griffin were indeed to the top passers in the nation coming out of their respective Texas high schools in 2008.
“Looking back on it, it worked out really well for both those youngsters,” Harbaugh said.
If both players had attended Stanford together, it’s likely that neither of them would be in the position they are today. Griffin is fresh off a Heisman Trophy-winning senior season and Luck has been the projected No. 1 overall NFL draft pick for nearly three years now. The two players never shared a locker room, although they almost did, but have shared the spotlight in their college careers and will continue to do so on Thursday night at the NFL Draft and on into their professional careers.