COLLEGE STATION, Texas - It is so easy to predict the future, when it is picking apart one of the state's most talented teams.
Stratford, Texas' 2008 quarterback prospect Andrew Luck showed what all the fuss was about in a 46-42 shootout win over the Lufkin Panthers Friday at the Texas 7-on-7 State Championship.
Luck (6-foot-3, 195-pounds) looked like a seasoned varsity quarterback, showing he had every throw in his arsenal and leadership qualities of an athlete beyond his years. His football IQ is off the charts, as he seems to have been around football all of his life.
The fact is that he has.
Luck is the son of former NFL quarterback Oliver Luck, who played for the Houston Oilers for five seasons after graduating from West Virginia. The elder Luck also ran NFL Europe for 10 years.
"Andrew grew up in Europe as we moved around, and he played soccer like everyone else," Luck's father said. "He had great hand-eye coordination as a kid and loved throwing balls. I would take him outside to play catch as a kid and just taught him the little things like the three-and five-step drop. Other than that, I really haven't coached him much. He's had great coaching on the high school level, and even in junior high.
"Now, we go to a lot of Houston Texan games and dissect defenses. I'll ask him what type of defense the other teams are in and where to throw it."
As an NFL alumni, how does the father evaluate the son?
"Of course I'm biased," Luck's father smilingly said. "He's got good size and strength. He's a great student of the game and a great academic student. He starts on the basketball team, so he has speed and athleticism. What's most impressive is that he is developing into a nice leader and that is so important as a quarterback."
In his sophomore season, Luck threw for 1,529 yards and seven touchdowns. He completed 116 of 229 passes and also rushed for over 700 yards, leading his team to a 5-5 record. With an off-season to grow and fine-tune his game, Luck will be striking fear in his 2006 opponents.
"He's gone to a few camps this summer and after last season he's getting some attention," Luck's father said. "Right now, we just have him focused on having two more good seasons, and taking it as it comes.
"If he gets a college scholarship, that is the brass ring."
If scholarships are brass rings, Luck will be able to outfit his entire team with one after his junior season as college coaches will be swarming to the Houston-area school.
So who could end up with this 2008 treasure?
Luck has narrowed his list to 10 or 15 schools, which all have something in common – high academic standards. Those schools are Georgia Tech, Purdue, California, Stanford, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Michigan, Texas and Texas A&M, just to name a few. Luck camped at Purdue University and attended a one-day camp in Houston for Oklahoma State.
"He is interested in engineering and is a straight A student," Luck's father said. "His choice will also be focused on academics. It's great to get to college, but not many people get to the NFL. Playing football in college is great fun and a great opportunity, but so is getting a good education."