Here’s another Heisman memory to ponder this week in anticipation of Saturday’s award ceremony in New York City.
This undersized QB is featured in my book NCAA Football Favorites, and he almost never got the chance to prove what he could do on the football field with a pig skin in his hand.
Boston College was the only Division I school to recruit the 5’9” and 175 lb. Doug Flutie and offer him an athletic scholarship.
Diminutive by big time college football quarterback standards, Flutie didn’t have to wait long to prove to skeptics that he was a natural leader and an elite playmaker.
During an October 1981 game against Penn State, Flutie seized the opportunity as a fourth string freshman QB when unexpectedly called on in the fourth quarter during a blowout loss. Flutie surprisingly passed for 135 yards in less than 15 minutes and showed uncommon cool and amazing athleticism for a freshman. Following the Penn State game and for the rest of his Boston College career, Flutie started every game as QB.
The 1984 Heisman Trophy winner also received the two other most prestigious college football honors that same year.
Flutie won the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback and the Maxwell Award as the top overall player.
In addition to his athletic achievements on the football field, Flutie’s alma mater recognized his academic excellence in the classroom by nominating him for a Rhodes Scholarship.
Doug Flutie finished his storied career in New England as Boston College’s all-time leading passer with 10,579 yards.
He is probably best remembered for his improbable pass in November 1984. During a high scoring, rain-soaked game, a scrambling Flutie threw a desperation pass more than 60 yards on the game’s final possession. Flutie’s Hail Mary pass found wide receiver Gerard Phelan in the end zone to give the Eagles a thrilling 47 – 45 victory over the favored Miami Hurricanes.
Along with Auburn University’s Chris Davis’ runback of a missed Alabama field goal on the final play of this year’s Iron Bowl, Flutie’s amazing pass is often remembered as one of the most incredible plays of all-time in any sport.
Boston College may have retired Doug Flutie’s #22 jersey, but the little quarterback’s legacy still looms large on the school’s campus. A bronze life-size Doug Flutie statue greets fans as they enter Boston College’s Alumni Stadium to remind them of the always improvising, highly elusive, under-sized quarterback.
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!