Before Tom Brady became a six time Super Bowl winner and three-time NFL MVP, he was a young football fan looking up to Joe Montana. Before DeShaun Watson was wreaking havoc on opposing defenses, he idolized Mike Vick.
Point is, before today’s NFL stars became today’s NFL stars…they started out as fans and their heroes were the players dominating the game they grew up watching.
For the incoming 2020 rookie class of quarterbacks, it’s no different.
When we asked today’s college stars—who are just a few months away from starting their own professional football careers—which NFL quarterbacks they try to emulate, it took them a fraction of a second to profess who they revere.
No surprise, most answered the usual suspects that are still having tremendous success in their careers: Tom Brady. Drew Brees. Aaron Rodgers. Russell Wilson.
But some of the passers we spoke with like Oklahoma’s Jaylen Hurts and Washington’s Jacob Eason went a bit “old school” with the legends they mentioned. Citing Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Steve McNair as the signal callers they admire.
While it may seem like they played in the not so distant past, the truth is Favre retired 10 years ago. Manning took his last snap in 2015. McNair (Rest in Peace) last played in 2007.
Which begs the question of the inevitable NFL cycle: Who among this year’s crop of rookie passers will one day be worshipped by today’s middle and high-school quarterbacks?
We probably won’t know that answer for a few seasons, unless of course one (or more) of this year’s rookies follow in the path of Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson, and then it might happen much sooner than later.