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RGIII to Johnathan Gray: Seize the moment

Heisman trophy winner says Gatorade Athlete of the Year has great potential

9:52 AM, Jul. 11, 2012 EDT

Robert Griffin III wore Santa Claus socks to Tuesday's Gatorade Athlete of the Year award ceremony. "I was in the giving spirit," said Griffin, who presented the Male Athlete of the Year award. / Scott Allen, USATODAYHSS.com

Hollywood, Calif. -- Robert Griffin III sported Santa Claus socks to Tuesday night's Gatorade Athlete of the Year award ceremony. Christmas in July? Not exactly.

“I was in the giving spirit tonight, they had me giving out an award," said Griffin, who presented the Male Athlete of the Year award to Aledo (Aledo, Texas) running back Johnathan Gray. "I wore some Santa Claus socks, because I was bearing gifts.”

Before he won the Heisman Trophy at Baylor and was drafted No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins, Griffin was the 2006-07 Gatorade Texas Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year. He didn't play football until seventh grade and said it took some convincing for his coaches to let him play quarterback. Having seen Griffin run track, they pegged him as a receiver.

Griffin was asked what it will take for Gray, who set the national high school career record for touchdowns (205), to realize his potential at Texas.  

“He’s got to stay focused and don’t lose himself in the program that he’s in," Griffin said. "A lot of the high profile athletes can go to a college and sometimes expect it to be given to them, but talking to him and sitting next to him during the banquet, he does not seem like that type of kid. It seems like he works hard and just has a good head on his shoulders."

Griffin went on to explain the importance of Gray taking advantage of his opportunies.

"People said I was unknown before this year," Griffin said. "I don’t agree with that, but it sounds good. You just gotta seize the moment. We had a lot of moments this year as a team at Baylor and we seized them. TCU, Oklahoma, the bowl game, we made all those happen. When he gets his chance, I know he'll definitely seize that moment."

Photo Gallery: Gatorade Athlete of the Year Award Ceremony



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