Everybodys talking about Louisville quarterback and Miami Northwestern High graduate Teddy Bridgewater these days.
The Heisman Trophy trackers talk about Bridgewater. Hes near the top of all the Heisman Watch lists, right there around last years winner, Texas A&Ms Johnny Manziel. Statistically, Bridgewater is third nationally in gross passing yards (1,002) and fourth in passing efficiency (201.3 points) with a 10/1 touchdown/interception ratio that warms coaches hearts even more than Heisman voters.
You win the Heisman in big games against high-profile opponents. You keep yourself in position to win the Heisman in games such as Saturdays against 0-3 FIU.
Teddys played well each and every game, Louisville coach Charlie Strong said. Our players understand that on offense as he goes, the team goes. We still have a lot of games left, but Teddys performed at the level weve expected him to.
NFL trackers cant stop talking about Teddy Bridgewater, especially after Cleveland traded running back Trent Richardson to Indianapolis for a first-round pick on Wednesday. The consensus from NFL analysts in the media: The Browns were stockpiling first-round picks while weakening their roster so as to have a better chance of drafting Bridgewater high in 2014s first round.
FIU coach Ron Turner is a former NFL quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. The day before the trade, the brother of Cleveland offensive coordinator Norv Turner and uncle of Cleveland wide receivers coach Scott Turner said he definitely sees Bridgewater as NFL material.
Hes smart, hes instinctive, hes accurate, he leads, Ron Turner said. When you put on the film and watch somebody play, you know [whether or not] that quarterback is in charge. Sometimes, you dont see that, sometimes, you do see that. You put him on and you say, That quarterback is in charge. Theres nothing he cant do. He can throw it, he can run. He can get them out of bad plays and into good plays. Hes a hell of a football player. As good as Ive seen in a long time.
Press him on his best quality and Bridgewater will admit its his leadership. But among the few people not talking about Teddy Bridgewater or not as readily willing to talk about Teddy Bridgewater is Teddy Bridgewater.
I dont pay any attention to it, Bridgewater said of the media noise with his name. Any of it. At the end of the day, its about this team.
Thats not faux toe-scraping to mollify fans or media who harrumph at brash cash gestures and prepping for playing on Sunday from college quarterbacks. Talk to Bridgewaters past teammates or friends and humble gets recycled.
Very humble guy, very enthusiastic on the field, said FIU redshirt sophomore wide receiver Dominqiue Rhymes, Northwestern Class of 2011 with Bridgewater. He doesnt brag on himself. He doesnt want anybody to brag on him. He just stays humble. He just wants to work hard at his craft.
FIU sophomore E.J. Hilliard, a good friend of Bridgewaters and Saturdays starter for the Panthers, said, Always laid back, always humble, always cracking jokes. I havent seen a change in him. Hes always been mature. Same guy that Ive known since the ninth grade.
Bridgewater said: I just felt that being humble is part of how you always have to be at the quarterback position. If you remain calm and always have a positive demeanor, that right there can carry a team a long way.
He claims he never thinks about what might have been had he not switched from the University of Miami, where he verbally committed before head coach Randy Shannons firing, to Louisville. Thats understandable. Since Bridgewater took over from senior Will Stein in the middle of the third game of his freshman year, Louisville tied for a Big East title, won another Big East title outright and whipped Florida in Januarys Sugar Bowl.
One of Bridgewaters few pedestrian games came in last years 28-21 win at FIU: 19 of 36 for 194 yards, two TDs and two interceptions.
No nervousness, none at all, he said about last years and this years game. As another opponent on the schedule, were just going to continue to play Louisville football.