Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 4/26/12

ASHBURN, Va. -- How excited was Robert Griffin III to officially become a Redskin on Thursday night? So excited that not only did the second overall pick wear burgundy and gold striped socks to the draft in New York, but he opened his conference calls with Washington's media by singing, "Hail To The Redskins."

Said the 22-year-old Griffin, "That's how I felt; felt that good. I'm really excited. A team finally fell in love with me for who I am. I can't wait to go and play for 'em."

The feeling is definitely mutual. After all, the Redskins traded the sixth overall pick, their first-rounders in 2013 and 2014 and this year's second-rounder to St. Louis six weeks earlier for Baylor's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback.

"We were really excited when we made the move from the sixth spot to the second spot," said Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, whose 2010 trade with Philadelphia for six-time Pro Bowl passer Donovan McNabb failed and who endured 25 turnovers in 13 starts by last year's quarterback, Rex Grossman. "We had a great feeling that Robert was gonna to be the guy we were gonna get. ... He knows when you make a commitment like that, that you're serious about him, you got a lot of belief in him. ... Just being around the guy, the way he handles himself, the way he works ... how sharp he is ... see what a class act he is, what type of charisma he has, he's gonna bring a whole lot to this organization. You're always looking for that franchise guy. He's got everything you're looking for in a quarterback."

Washington hasn't had one of those since Joe Theismann's career ended with a broken leg in November 1985. The team has failed to land a franchise quarterback with Heath Shuler in 1994 and Norm Snead in 1961 and having endured generally unproductive play at the game's most important position since Brad Johnson led them to their last NFC East title in 1991. The Redskins also whiffed on first-round quarterbacks Patrick Ramsey in 2002 and Jason Campbell in 2005.

"Being a Texas kid ... I've seen the Redskins over the years, I've seen the many quarterbacks that they've gone through. I'm glad that the organization and the coaching staff bought into drafting a younger quarterback, trying to make him their franchise quarterback and growing with him," said Griffin, who threw 78 touchdown passes and just 17 interceptions in his 41 college games while finishing as Baylor's fifth-leading career rusher and with the second-most efficient season as a senior of any quarterback in NCAA history.

Shanahan, who has coached Hall of Famers John Elway and Steve Young (the latter as a coordinator), stressed the importance of a quarterback's supporting cast and defense, and the likelihood of growing pains for Griffin although "it will be a lot easier for Robert coming this year in than it would have been two years ago" before the roster had largely been redone.

While the 6-foot-2, 223-pound Griffin said he will have to work on the "verbiage" of Washington's West Coast offense, he added, that by the end of training camp, "it will be like reading the back of my hand. ... I'm a person that truly tries to lead by example. Sometimes I get tired talking about things because you want to just go do it. My dream has come true and it's up to me to figure out what I'm going to do."

The ever-confident Griffin isn't concerned about adjusting from running Baylor's spread attack to a less option-based NFL offense. After working with former NFL assistant Terry Shea on his footwork, Griffin has already met with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan for six hours to get a head start on learning the scheme that he'll begin trying to implement during the May 4-6 rookie minicamp at Redskins Park before he reports for full-time duty on May 14.

"If you can play football in high school, you can be an elite college player," said Griffin, a self-described fast learner who finished Copperas Cove (Texas) High School and Baylor (political science degree) in three and a half years apiece and is working on his master's in communications. "If you're an elite college player, you can be an elite pro. I know I am a rookie, but I'm not go out and use that as an excuse. I'm gonna try to succeed. I'll savor the moment tonight. Tomorrow, I'll fly to D.C. and then we're ready to roll."

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