No doubt, the hottest quarterback in the NFL right now is Mike Vick, who recently turned the Philadelphia Eagles into one of the scariest offensive units to face on any given Sunday. Vick is reminding fans and experts why just four years ago every defensive unit in the league was trying to recruit faster defenders to keep up with his elusive speed.
Vick’s dual-threat ability to beat you with his legs or his arm is giving opposing defensive coordinators nightmares. You can’t drop seven players into pass coverage and turn your back against the quarterback, because if you do, he’ll burn you for a 40-yard run up the sidelines. And if you do leave defenders in the box to keep Vick from running, he’ll use his cannon of an arm and launch deep passes down field for big plays.
No other starting quarterback in the NFL offers the combined package of speed, agility and arm strength that Vick does—with the exception of a few that only come close (Redskins’ Donovan McNabb, Titans’ Vince Young and Buccaneers’ Josh Freeman).
But from the looks of this year’s college football scene, there soon may be a few more “Vick-like” quarterbacks terrorizing NFL defenders.
The top two college football performers so far this season are Ohio State’s Terrelle Pryor and Auburn’s Cameron Newton, both considered dual-threat quarterbacks.
Ohio State and Auburn are both currently undefeated at 4-0, primarily due to the stellar play of their African-American quarterbacks. In just four games, Pryor has passed for 939 yards, 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions, while rushing for 269 yards and three touchdowns on 6.3 yards a carry.
Newton’s stats are just as impressive as he’s passed for 683 yards and nine touchdowns so far, while rushing for 485 yards and five touchdowns. He was named the Southeast Conference Player of the Week Monday after ripping South Carolina for more than 300 total yards and five touchdowns Saturday. If he keeps producing at this rate, he’ll be a top candidate for the Heisman Trophy, the nation’s top individual performer award. But Newton recently said he isn’t thinking about that right now.
“Oh, my goodness,” Newton told reporters Monday. “No. I’m just going to continue to do my job. I’m not going to think about that right now because I think that would be selfish of me.”
Pryor has dismissed Heisman talk, too. But who needs to talk when your production speaks for its self?
The remaining eight games of the college football season will determine which of these two have a better chance at earning the Heisman honor. But perhaps there’s one fact that’s already been determined: Both Pryor and Newton will soon set the NFL on fire.