I love stories like this. I love watching players emerge from nowhere to make us care. make us watch. Make us go: Damn, where has he been?
It happens most in college sports, where pundits like myself declare Guy 1, Guy 2 and Guy 3 as all that and a bag of peanuts even before the first snap or tip-off. This year, the race for college football’s Heisman Trophy began with a handful of players. Among them: USC QB John Booty. Louisville QB Brian Brohm, Arkansas running back/stud Darren McFadden and my favorite, Rutgers running back Ray Rice (full disclosure: Ray hails from where I live – New Rochelle, NY – and he’s a great kid).
But right now, I’m blown away by Kentucky QB Andre Woodson.
Let me be straight with you. He won’t come close to winning the thing. But after wins over highly ranked Louisville (and Broehm) last week and a 42-29 thumping of Arkansas on Saturday, the 6-foot-five-inch, 230-pound statue of a QB (Check out his stats: Click here.) has got to be the dark horse guy heading into the stretch of the college football season.
Woodson is a prototype QB, Big guy. Big arm. And smart. Think Tom Brady. Not flashy. Just gets the job done. On Saturday, he was 20-for-38 for 270 yards and two TDs, including a 32-yarder to Keenan Burton and a one-yard plunge that capped a come-from-behind thriller.
Oh,BTW, in the second quarter, Woodson also threw his 272 consecutive pass without a INT to set an all-time collegiate record, surpassing the mark set by Trent Dilfer when the now-NFL QB played for Fresno State.
Kentucky is now ranked 21st in the nation. They’ll likely move up this week – if for just the time being. The next three weeks are, well, a bear – South Carolina, LSU and Florida. By the time the Gators come through town, Woodson might just be a feel-good afterthought for the season.
But write this down: Come next spring at the NFL draft, Andre Woodson will be a Top 10 pick. Ahead of Brohm, unless the NFL geniuses are nuts. write it down.
And I’ll not yet give up on seeing him in NYC in January. he may not win the Heisman, but he’s already college football’s story of the year.