As the college season nears its end, there are a number of big names floating around for the NFL draft, Senior Bowl and even athletes that are just good at what they do.
Speaking specifically about the quarterback position, we’ve all heard about West Virginia Mountaineers’ quarterback Geno Smith, USC Trojans’ quarterback Matt Barkley and Kansas State Wildcats’ quarterback Collin Klein, among other notable names.
However, there is one quarterback that has been doing crazy things all season and you may not have heard of him until last night. This quarterback is none other than Baylor Bears’ senior quarterback Nick Florence.
Last night in the Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl, Florence broke a record, and not just any record. He broke a record held by a guy named Robert Griffin III– you may have heard of him. He won the Heisman Trophy last season and is now the starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins.
The record Florence broke was RG III’s record for single season passing yards. Yes, you read that right. RG III’s backup took over the team the year after RG III broke the record and re-set the passing yardage mark in just one year.
This is incredible to me. Florence finished the season with 4,309 passing yards. RG III finished the season with 4,293. While Griffin had a few more touchdowns and fewer interceptions, this is still an admirable feat.
What’s even more amazing to me, is that this kid did this all season and no one seemed to notice. He stayed under the radar and quietly broke a record set by last year’s Heisman winner.
Something else that is noteworthy with this story is that Florence backed up RG III for most of his career. The most consistent playing time he saw before this season was his freshman year, 2009, when he threw about half of the attempts he threw this season.
Yet, Florence didn’t transfer away from Baylor to find playing time. He sat, as the backup, waited for his chance to start, and then had a record breaking season. You just don’t see that all that much anymore, and to me, that makes this story even more special.
Had he started the two years RG III played, he could have had some really nice career stats.
Florence definitely raised his NFL draft stock last night and it will certainly be interesting to see what happens to Florence after college.