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Lucky Us: Star quarterback to earn degree before entering draft

Last week, the worst fears of many a Stanford football fan were eased, as quarterback Andrew Luck told Bay Area radio station KNBR that he’d like to complete his college degree before moving on to the NFL.

“I still consider myself a pretty young guy,” the redshirt sophomore said on KNBR. “I need to get a degree in college before I start thinking about that stuff. I will probably stay in school for sure.”

Many had been expecting Luck, one of the top prospects in college football, to declare for the 2011 NFL Draft after the coming season. Luck still has the choice of entering the 2012 NFL Draft, after he receives his undergraduate degree, or staying for his fourth year of eligibility and entering the draft in 2013.

In 2009, Luck started all 12 regular-season games for the Cardinal, throwing for 2,575 yards and 13 touchdowns while posting a completion percentage of 56.2 and rushing for 354 yards. He missed the Sun Bowl after breaking a finger in the final game of the regular season against Notre Dame.

Expectations are high for Luck going into the 2010 season. On July 13, Luck was the first player to be named to the Manning Award Watch List. The award is given annually to the nation’s top college quarterback; last year’s winner was Colt McCoy from the University of Texas. The list includes 30 of the nation’s top quarterbacks and will be released over the course of the coming month.

This past weekend, Luck attended the Manning Passing Academy at Nicholls State in Louisiana. The camp, run by Archie, Peyton, Eli and Cooper Manning, features some of the nation’s top high school and college quarterbacks each year.

“Andrew can make all the throws necessary to be a really top-flight quarterback in college and in the pros,” Archie Manning said to sports columnist Mike Detillier. “I was extremely impressed with him. Andrew came here to the camp as a high school quarterback about four or five years ago and you can see he is much stronger, and he has a chance to be a real special football player.”

“I fully understand at this level that you are constantly learning and trying to get better at your craft,” Luck told Detillier. “I have worked hard all offseason in improving my footwork and follow through. It’s the mechanical work of the game, but it is so important.”

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Joseph Beyda

Joseph Beyda

Joseph Beyda is the editor in chief of The Stanford Daily. Previously he has worked as the executive editor, webmaster, football editor, a sports desk editor, the paper's summer managing editor and a beat reporter for football, baseball and women's soccer. He co-authored The Daily's recent football book, "Rags to Roses," and covered the soccer team's national title run for the New York Times. Joseph is a senior from Cupertino, Calif. majoring in Electrical Engineering. To contact him, please email jbeyda "at" stanford.edu.