This year Jameis Winston and Nick Marshall were the starting quarterbacks in the national championship game. In the past, many players have started this game, and many have gone on to NFL careers. Not many of them saw the glory that they had in college though.
Winston is on pace to be the first player selected in the quarterback heavy 2015 NFL Draft. He should have a great NFL career. Nick Marshall on the other hand probably won’t. There are many players who fit into the Winston group and the Marshall group from the past.
Since Michael Vick started this game for Virginia Tech, two others have been number one overall pick. Vick had a very good NFL career that had distractions but I think he is the best quarterback who has started in the title game.
The other two who were first pick also won the Heisman trophy. First was Sam Bradford from Oklahoma, the next was Cam Newton of Auburn. Bradford, who is now with the St. Louis Rams hasn’t done much with his career yet and his time could be coming to an end as soon as this coming up season. The Rams hold the second overall pick and they could draft a quarterback. They probably won’t though because of Bradford’s contract. I think Bradford has one more year to it least show he is capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Cam Newton took Auburn to the title game where they beat Oregon. After winning the Heisman and being the first pick he went to the Carolina Panthers. Now in his third year, he took the Panthers to the Divisional round in the playoffs. He is already a great player and I know that his potential is endless. I think he is the best player since Vick to start in this game.
Besides Winston, Bradford and Newton, Jason White, Matt Leinart, Troy Smith and Tim Tebow have all won Heismans and played in this game. All four of them did either nothing or almost nothing in the NFL. Lienart was drafted tenth overall and is one of the biggest draft busts in history. Tebow, also a first rounder won a playoff game in heroic fashion, then didn’t get much of a chance again. Jason White had some bad injuries in college and was never drafted while Troy Smith was a late round draft pick.
Colt McCoy, Matt Flynn and Ken Dorsey all started in this game as well and considering none of them were first round picks, they had average careers.
Other guys like Chris Leak, Greg McElroy, Darron Thomas and Jordan Jefferson became pros and never got much of a chance.
Besides the two starters in this years game, Winston and Marshall, AJ McCarron and Everett Golson also haven’t had there NFL draft yet. McCarron will be drafted this year while Winston, Marshall and Golson will all be back in college next year. Its very possible that Winston and Marshall could be battling for a national title again next year.
My favorite title game quarterback is Vince Young. He orchestrated the greatest finish to a game I have ever seen when he beat USC 41-38 in the 2006 Rose Bowl. Young had over 200 rushing yards and I thought he would be a hall of fame pro. He was drafted third overall by the Titans and took them to the playoffs as a rookie. The rest of his career was rough, he disappeared, went broke and has had trouble getting another job in the NFL. I’m rooting for Young because that Texas title game really made me love college football.
Overall, playing in the title game doesn’t lead to guaranteed NFL success, but the potential is there.