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Robert Griffin III reveals not choosing Stanford led to grudge Jim Harbaugh held in the NFL

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Andrew Luck was one of the best college quarterbacks in the sport's history, and more importantly, he kicked off what was a historically successful decade for Stanford football.

En route to becoming the No. 1 overall pick, he was a Heisman finalist, first-team All-American, two-time Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, and he also led the program to their best season in program history. 

The person who beat him out for the Heisman was Baylor's Robert Griffin III, who Jim Harbaugh also wanted to come to Stanford despite having Luck committed already.

Obviously a tough sell, and one that Griffin didn't take the bait on. He and Luck each dominated college football and went on to be top draft picks, as Griffin was taken with the second pick after Luck. However, while Griffin was pleased with his decision, clearly it was one that Harbaugh held over him.

Apr 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck (right) and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III (left) pose for a photo on the red carpet before the start of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

RGIII and Andrew Luck

On a recent episode of RG3 and The Ones, Griffin was chatting with Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis about weird draft questions. Levis detailed a story about how he was grilled for not managing his own finances despite being a finance major to which Griffin revealed his story.

A grudge that Harbaugh, who at the time was the 49ers coach, had held over him.

"I got interviewed by Jim Harbaugh and this is when he was with the 49ers", explained Griffin. Harbaugh recruited me out of high school to go to Stanford, me and Andrew Luck. Andrew Luck was already committed and was still trying to get me to go to Stanford and I turned him down. We get to the combine, and he schedules a meeting with me and he didn't ask me one football question...not one. He spent the entire 15 minutes of the interview asking me why I didn't go to Stanford."

He later added, "He spent the entire 15 minutes basically exercising a grudge."

The decision clearly worked out for both, but clearly Harbaugh needed some clarity. Also, Stanford fans now have to imagine what having two of the sport's best quarterbacks on the roster could have done for the trajectory of the program. Obviously, there was more success after Luck, but a Luck to Griffin passing of the torch is a major "what if" scenario.

Harbaugh and Griffin never teamed up in the pros, and Harbaugh eventually returned to the college ranks to coach at Michigan. Now that he is back in the NFL as the Los Angeles Chargers head coach, there's a chance we may see a similar story eventually as to why someone didn't go play for Harbaugh at Michigan.