After a phenomenal 2012 season during which he elevated Louisville to new heights and caught the attention of NFL scouts everywhere, Teddy Bridgewater is the premier Heisman Trophy candidate heading into 2013.
His standing as the early favorite to be the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft isn’t the main reason, though.
The main reason, you ask? Bridgewater is an electrifying playmaker who simply creates sparks in ways that few can. Even though he won the 2012 Heisman Trophy, Johnny Manziel has nothing on Louisville’s fearless leader and we’re all going to realize that this upcoming season.
You need proof of Bridgewater’s effectiveness? Look no further than what he did during the 2012 campaign. On top of putting up 3,718 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns and only eight interceptions while completing 68.5 percent of his passes, Bridgewater was everything Louisville needed from their quarterback.
Numbers are only part of the story. It wasn’t always what the stat sheet showed, but the impact that Bridgewater had on his team that made him such a dynamic talent. Whenever crunch time was upon the Cardinals or hope seemed lost, Bridgewater found a way to rally the troops. Throughout his sophomore season, he showed the type of leadership and composure that’s rare for a young quarterback.
Take the Sugar Bowl game against Florida for example, a game in which Bridgewater overcame a broken wrist to lead the Cardinals to a resounding victory. Voters love a feel-good story about a player putting the team on his back. True leaders grin and bear the pain for the greater good of the team.
Bridgewater might be the full package already, but an outstanding supporting cast definitely helps. With a stable of tremendous running backs and more talented receivers than they know what to do with, Louisville have given Bridgewater enough weapons to put up another year’s worth of big numbers. When you have a full array of arrows in your quiver, good things are bound to happen.
If Louisville tops the American Athletic Conference, the voters will certainly have another reason to give Bridgewater the nod. The Heisman routinely goes to a player on a winning, BCS bowl-bound team, which seems to be exactly where the Cardinals are headed.
Have I given you enough reasons yet?
The only thing that could play to his disadvantage is the fact that he’s not a dual-threat quarterback. Unlike most athletic quarterbacks, he uses his feet to stay alive in the pocket instead of scrambling at the slightest hint of pressure. It also proves, though, that he’s not an average arm with athleticism; Bridgewater is an NFL-caliber arm with the smarts and instincts that don’t come around very often.
Bridgewater is the best quarterback/playmaker in the nation. With a dominant receiving corps and a healthy wrist, there’s nothing stopping him from taking Louisville all the way in 2013. That sounds like the perfect recipe for a Heisman Trophy if you ask me.