Sunday, November 02, 2008
So this Weatherhead kid....you think he might be okay for us?
One of the old adages my dad would share with me from his football coaching experiences is that you never want to follow a legend. The shadow is just cast too far and that no matter what you do, you are constantly being compared to the legendary feats that are still fresh in everyone's memories.
Hillsdale College quarterback Troy Weatherhead might know the feeling. While we have all been asking ourselves whether Weatherhead will be able to fill the shoes vacated by all-world Mark Nicolet and even if some of these young guys are going to push for his job, we have nearly failed to enjoy one of the most prolific years ever by a Charger quarterback.
With Saturday's 24 for 33, 315 yard, 4 touchdown home finale performance, Troy now sits #3 on the single season top ten passing list with 2515 yards and a game still to go. He passed Kyle Keefer's old mark set in 1999 of 2435 yards and is 149 yards shy of second place Mike Gatt's 2664 set during the Chargers' 1985 run to a national title. Weatherhead's 214 completions were good enough to pass Gatt's 210 for #2 on the single season completions list.
He's not going to catch Nicolet's 3,335 performance that is unfortunately for Weatherhead probably too fresh in most fans' heads and not even a year old. That's okay. Weatherhead still has some time to distance himself from Nicolet. Remember, this kid is a SOPHOMORE and playing his first full season. For a little comparison and to see how the quarterback position at Hillsdale has changed, look at that all-time list. In Mark's first full season as a starter, he landed on the list at then #3 with 1,996 yards. All we heard from Otter and his staff this summer was that Troy "just needed to keep the car on the road and not worry about being Mark Nicolet". It's safe to say that Weatherhead has more than done that. Sure there have been growing pains but nobody has taken those to heart and learned from them more than #16.
But like learning from growing pains, Troy will tell you that following Nicolet isn't the worse thing in the world. He has always acknowledged that the red-shirt and freshman years practicing with Mark taught him a ton about what it takes to be a quarterback in this offense.
Troy Weatherhead does not have to be the next Mark Nicolet. All he has to do is be Troy Weatherhead. I talk a lot about how easy it is to get spoiled as a Charger fan and that we just take the success for granted now. Well, let's not get too caught up in it all that we don't stop to enjoy or recognize great performances...whether they are as spectacular as one we were just privileged to experience.
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