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“We’ve done a great job resurrecting the program,” Griffin said.

He is the son of two U.S. Army sergeants who settled in central Texas in a town called Copperas Cove near Fort Hood.

“My Dad, he gave me everything he didn’t have and some,” he said. “And they say a mom’s love is one of a kind, I can attest to that.”

It was a recruiting coup for Baylor to land Griffin out of high school, though it was something of a package deal.

Griffin had committed to Houston and coach Art Briles, but when Baylor hired Briles away, Griffin switched up and followed the coach to a program that hadn’t even played in a bowl game since 1994.

“Our offense is quarterback friendly without a doubt,” Briles said. “We knew Robert was a complete fit for what we were looking for out of the quarterback position.”

He started 11 games as an 18-year-old freshman in 2008 and tore a knee ligament three games into the 2009 season. He returned last year as good as new and with a newfound commitment and love of football. He threw for 3,501 yards and led Baylor to a 7-6 record and its first bowl appearance since 1994.

This season, his passing has improved and he’s still a dangerous runner (644 yards and nine TDs). He has left little doubt that he’s a pro prospect, though he’s got one more game _ the Alamo Bowl against Washington on Dec. 29 in San Antonio _ to show his stuff.

An aspiring lawyer who is working on a master’s degree in communications, he holds 46 school records and adoring Bears fans are praying he comes back for more.

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP