- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WACO, TEXAS (AP) - When Robert Griffin III arrived at Baylor four years ago with new coach Art Briles, the Bears had never even had a winning season in the Big 12.

Standing in the confetti celebration last month after the Bears won their first bowl game in nearly two decades for a 10-win season, the exciting dual-threat quarterback knew in his gut it was time to move on to the next level.

Griffin made it official Wednesday, announcing he would skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft after a college career in which he set or tied 54 school records in 41 games. It was a month and a day after RG3 became the first Baylor player to win college football’s highest individual honor.

“Obviously you want to leave something better than you found it,” Griffin said. “I can say we’ve done that.”

It was nearly 2 1/2 minutes after Griffin started talking during his campus news conference that he finally said he was going to the NFL. But, like he said, he has never been good at good-byes.

“It’s see you later,” he said.

His public announcement came right after meeting with teammates to inform them of the decision, and Griffin said he broke down in tears after telling them.

Griffin had told Briles of his decision when they spoke Tuesday, following up on a conversation from the previous day.

“Neither of us broke down, surprisingly,” said Griffin, though Briles quickly added with a smile, “Not on the outside.”

Despite losing the best quarterback in Baylor history, Briles called it a day of celebration for all that Griffin has meant and stood for at Baylor, both on and off the field.

“He’s ready, it’s time,” Briles said. “I’m excited, and I’m happy for Robert, for the way he’s conducted himself for four years and the journey he has in front of him.”

Stanford’s Andrew Luck, the Heisman runner-up, and Griffin are likely to be the first two quarterbacks drafted in April.

“It’s just a tough decision, I love the people at this university,” Griffin said. “I love my coach for giving me the chance of being a quarterback and doing the things that we’ve done.”

The Bears tied a school record this season with 10 wins _ the other 10-win season was in 1980 during Mike Singletary’s senior year. They won their last six games in 2011, and the record-setting 67-56 victory over Washington in the Alamo Bowl was their first bowl victory since 1992.

Baylor finished ranked No. 13, the first time since 1986 that the Bears were in the final AP poll of the year.

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