WACO, Texas | Robert Griffin III is an impressive character. He’s smart, determined, funny, humble, caring and dozens of other traits that endear him to those who have known him since long before Mike Shanahan knew his name.
The main reason for that, as you could imagine, seems to be his parents, Robert Jr. and Jacqueline. They are retired Army sergeants with a combined 33 years of service. They were an absolute pleasure to meet at Baylor’s Pro Day on Wednesday. You’ll get to know them, in addition to their son, over the coming weeks, and it will become clear why RG3 is the way he is.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder was among the group from Washington that met RG3’s parents at dinner here on Tuesday night. And like all of us who are interested in learning about the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Snyder went to the head of the Griffin household.
“The owner, he had a lot of concerns,’” Robert Jr. recalled. “You know, a young kid coming into the league. He asked us what type of vehicle Robert drives. I said, ‘Chrysler Pacifica the whole time he was at Baylor.’
He said, ‘Yeah, because guys in our parking lot are driving Bentleys.’ I said, ‘Robert is not going to be driving no Bentley. If he do, you call me.’”
Jacqueline corroborated that.
“My husband told him, ‘If Robert pulls up to training camp in a Bentley, call me. I’ll be up there in a flash. That’s not the kid I raised.’”
There are handfuls of similar stories that will emerge as RG3 pushes toward the draft and NFL stardom. And apparently he’s going to keep driving his Pacifica down that path.
“Each one of our kids, none of them drove in high school,” Jacqueline explained. “They all drove when they graduated. Robert didn’t want to drive. He didn’t care about driving, which was good for us. He was happy with us taking him around. I was the chauffeur, and I didn’t mind.
“My husband went to buy him a new car. He said, ‘No, Dad, just buy me a used car.’ So we bought him a Prelude, which is a little, tiny car. He was always saying he wanted a Porsche – he liked Porsches – so my husband bought him a little small car.
“He drove it for a little bit, and then one day he brought it home and said, ‘This car is too cramped. I’m so tall and it’s so tiny.’ My husband said, ‘OK, you and your mom swap cars.’ Long story short: that was four years ago and I’ve never gotten my car back. He drives a Chrysler Pacifica and he loves it. He said he’s taking it with him wherever he goes.”
And what about the possibility that destination will be Washington?
“If the Redskins draft Robert, that’d be a great deal,” Robert Jr. said. “We’d have no problem. Coach Shanahan, we watched him – Robert more than I did – when he was with the Broncos, so he’s really comfortable with him and his son.”