Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stanford Cardinal: Breaking Down QB Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal passes the ball against the Oregon State Beavers at Stanford Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Palo Alto, California.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Stanford Cardinal could not have been more excited when they found out their star quarterback, Andrew Luck, would be returning to school for another college football season instead of heading to the NFL Draft. Regardless of the fact he could have been the top overall draft pick.
After passing for 2,575 yards and 13 touchdowns as a freshman, Luck had a breakout sophomore season throwing for 3,338 and an astounding 32 touchdowns to just eight interceptions not to mention completing more than 70 percent of his passes.

Jim Harbaugh, Luck's former head coach at Stanford, was the man who talked his quarterback into returning to school before taking the head coaching job with the San Francisco 49ers. One might wonder if Luck was re-thinking his decision to return to school but ended up keeping his promise to the university.

At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, Luck stands tall in the pocket and delivers a strong pass to his receivers. While he can take the normal three-step drop after the snap, Luck is also a guy who can roll out and deliver a pass on the run.

He is as good with the short ball as he is with the long ball. What has helped the Stanford quarterback over the last few years was having talented running backs behind him to keep an opposing defense honest.

In his freshman season, Luck had Heisman candidate running back Toby Gerhart behind him. A bruising running back who was a lot faster than he looked. After Gerhart departed for the Minnesota Vikings and the National Football League, Stepfan Taylor came in and looked every bit as talented as Gerhart, rushing for almost 1,100 yards (1,099) last season.

Luck has had his share of enormous games for Stanford over his two years as the starting quarterback, but when you watch his performance at home against USC in the season's sixth week would stand out. Sure he didn't throw for more than 300 yards, but completing 20 of his 24 pass attempts (83.3%) is impressive for any quarterback, especially against a conference rival.

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