football

Bridgewater focused on one position

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MORE: Driskel doesn't disappoint at Elite 11 regional | Rivals.com Scouting the Nation 2010
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Teddy Bridgewater admits he could not control himself.
The Miami Northwestern standout would show up at a camp or 7-on-7 event and work out at quarterback - but sneak into wide receiver and defensive back drills as well.
Bridgewater was so talented at all the positions that many believed he could be a multi-position athlete in college, where he would play some quarterback or be used at other positions just as effectively.
Recently, though, Bridgewater had an extensive talk with his coaches at Northwestern, a powerhouse in south Florida, and it was decided he would focus solely on quarterback and not toy around at other positions.
That's fine with him since he said Sunday at the Elite 11 Regional Camp here at the ESPN Wide World of Sports that his top five - Southern Cal, Alabama, Florida, Miami and LSU - are all recruiting him as a quarterback.
"Going into my senior season, I plan on staying at quarterback," said Bridgewater, who's included in the Rivals top 250 watch list for 2011.
"The thing was I couldn't control myself. I just had to be one of those guys that had to be on the field. I would throw the ball, then catch the ball and then go on defense. I learned to control myself."
Bridgewater and Oviedo (Fla.) Hagerty prospect Jeff Driskel were clearly the top two quarterbacks at the Elite 11 regional, both consistently throwing pinpoint passes and showing off good footwork.
The 6-foot-3 Northwestern standout was particularly elusive and crafty with his feet - even though his blue and gold Nike spikes weren't even tied.
Like former Deerfield Beach, Fla., standout Denard Robinson, now at Michigan, Bridgewater feels most comfortable with his shoelaces undone. He's sustained injuries to both ankles and doesn't tape even for games but that's how he feels best so that's how he does it.
"This is how I play in the game," Bridgewater said. "I feel like you could slide right in the shoe. I wish they didn't even have shoestrings. My coaches said as long as I'm comfortable. He does want me to tape but the tape stops the blood circulation in my ankles.
"When I played when I was younger I fractured my left ankle and in ninth grade, the spring game, I was playing wide receiver and I went up for a pass and landed on my right ankle so actually I messed up both of them."
There shouldn't be many more times Bridgewater will jump for passes in his career since he's now focused on mastering the quarterback position. Camp counselors Browning Nagle, a former NFL quarterback, and John Brantley III, the coach at Ocala (Fla.) Trinity Catholic, raved about Bridgewater's potential.
Not only does he have a strong and accurate arm but because he's played wide receiver and defensive back before, Bridgewater can use his athleticism in ways other quarterbacks cannot. He's a true dual threat who can make things happen with his feet if plays break down.
That's why five of the nation's top programs are pursuing him and many others are also giving chase. Georgia was a favorite of Bridgewater's last summer but he said there has been a lack of communication with the Bulldogs. They're certainly not out of it since Bridgewater said he still likes Georgia but it's no longer in his top five.
Recruiting is on the back burner for now. Bridgewater seems too focused on improving as a quarterback - and only as a quarterback.
"That's where everybody is recruiting me," he said.
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