The moment when Robert Griffin III stepped to the podium Saturday night to receive the Heisman Trophy, greeted by a contingent of past winners, the Baylor quarterback automatically became eligible for membership in another sort of club.
Not that he wants to join it. No player does.
It is the society of Heisman flops.
Scroll down the long and prominent list — Pat Sullivan, Jason White, Eric Crouch, et al. — of men who stood on college football's highest pedestal only to crash and burn as pros.
"The Heisman Trophy isn't given to the player who has the best future in the NFL," said Brian Billick, the former Ravens coach who now works as an analyst for Fox Sports and NFL Network. "The Heisman is for college.
"And it's a tough transition."
And a lack of NFL success does nothing to diminish a player's extraordinary college achievements.
But the expectations are lofty for Heisman winners. Over the last 30 years, no fewer than two-thirds of them have fallen short at the next level, winding up as mediocre or worse.
"I don't think the Heisman should have any bearing on draft selection," said John Robinson, the former USC and Rams coach. "Some of these guys struggle."
Robinson and others close to the game see a variety of reasons for high-profile washouts, starting with the fact the award does not always go to the best player.
"Sometimes we vote on career achievement," said Charles Davis, an NFL Network analyst who casts a ballot each fall. "Sometimes we vote for the quarterback on the best team."
Speaking of quarterbacks, they have won the award more often than players at any other position in recent years — and they seem to have the most trouble living up to it.
Since 1980, more than half of the 11 Heisman-winning running backs have become stars in the pros. Brown, at wide receiver, and Charles Woodson, at defensive back, also excelled.
Among 16 quarterbacks, only Carson Palmer can claim to have reached that status, with the jury still out on Cam Newton, Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow. Vinny Testaverde and Doug Flutie were solid if unspectacular. Plenty of others were duds.
However, Billick points out that a similar ratio applies to all quarterbacks trying to jump from college to the NFL.
In 1990, Heisman winner Andre Ware was selected by the Lions with the seventh pick in the draft — and went nowhere. The same can be said for later picks such as Tommy Hodson and Peter Tom Willis.
Even Jeff George, the No. 1 selection, had a rocky career.
Only Neil O'Donnell, taken at No. 70, established a solid track record in the pros.