In my four years here at WSU, I’ve got to watch some really gifted football players. Admittedly most of them were playing for the other team, but nevertheless, since I’ve been here the likes of Dez Bryant, Jahvid Best, Rob Gronkowski, Clay and Casey Matthews, LaMichael James and Mark Sanchez have played at Cougar home games. Okay, so maybe all of them played for the other team.
Depending on how you look at it, this Saturday is either very exciting or very scary because there’s a guy on Stanford’s team who is probably better than all those names mentioned above—his name is Andrew Luck. If you haven’t heard of him then, maybe you should climb out of the hole you're living in and turn on ESPN. He’s on there a lot.
According to the hype, Luck could be the best player in the last decade to set foot in Martin Stadium.
“What hype?” You ask. Well, here’s how 11-time national sportswriter of the year Rick Reilly describes what has become known as the Andrew Luck Draft Sweepstakes.
“If you really love your NFL team, you will root for its bus to fall into a sink hole. Or an avian flu epidemic to hit the locker room. Widespread jail time would be good, too.” Reilly said in a column for ESPN. “That’s because the worst team gets to draft the best quarterback to come along since Peyton Manning himself – Andrew Luck of Stanford.”
The most hyped quarterback to be drafted since Manning, Luck could have been the No. 1 overall pick last season but opted to finish out his senior year, which is unfortunate for us Cougar fans come Saturday.
In terms of style of play however, Luck is not of the Manning and Brady mold. Anyone who has seen the highlight of his one handed catch (that's right, a quarterback making a one-handed catch) can see he’s much more athletic than the likes of the hall of famers mentioned above.
Rather, Luck is more the closest thing anyone’s seen to a prototype of another number 12 who played his college ball in California—defending Super Bowl Champion quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Just in case anyone thinks I’m going soft as a Cougar football fan, I’d like to mention that I hope I get to watch the likes of Sekope Kaufusi and Alex Hoffman-Ellis deliver bigger hits to Luck than Chumbawamba did to radio in 1997 (“Tubthumping” anybody?).
All I’m saying is that someday, when our kids watch Andrew Luck retire as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, anyone who goes to the game on Saturday can say they got to see him play in college (and quite possibly in his Heisman trophy season).
That’s how sure-fire his talent is touted to be, and so far, he hasn’t given anyone reason to say he’s overhyped. This season he has a quarterback rating of 182.3, with 14 touchdowns, two interceptions, 1383 yards and a 73.1 completion percentage. Now saying you saw Luck play in college is cool, but saying you saw your beloved Cougs beat him in Pullman – that is legendary.