Good luck convincing NFL talent evaluators or college football fans in Palo Alto of this fact, but Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck isn't perfect.
Yes, the redshirt junior is the top pro football prospect in the collegiate ranks, with some NFL fans literally encouraging their teams to fail in order to attain the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. And, yes, he was named the Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for football as a result of maintaining a 3.48 GPA in Stanford's prestigious architectural design program.
It's true that he is a gentleman, a scholar and arguably the best college signal caller in a generation. But he can't do everything.
"Dude couldn't hit a lick."
At least that's what John Mardirosian, Luck's teammate on the JV baseball team at Stratford high school in Houston, Texas, claims. But Luck's supposed inability to get any lumber on a high school-caliber heater seems to be where the criticisms ends.
"He played a mean center field though," Mardirosian continued. "One time I was pitching and he made a diving catch in center field and then threw out a runner tagging from third base. The guy is such an amazing human being it's absurd."
After finishing second in Heisman voting last season, Luck surprised many by returning to school. Despite being the presumptive No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Luck wanted to lead the Cardinal to a national title. Although he has fallen short of that goal, the 22-year-old authored another superlative season that culminates in another trip to New York for the Heisman ceremony and another trip to a BCS bowl. Regardless of whether he takes home the famed stiff arm trophy, Luck's stature in the college game is assured.
What has Luck meant to Stanford's football program?
In the three seasons prior to him taking the reins of the Stanford offense, the team had a collective record of 13-23 with no bowl appearances. Since 2009, the team has posted a collective record of 31-7, defeating Virginia Tech in the school's BCS bowl debut last January. On Thursday, Luck added yet another remarkable distinction to his long list of awards, taking home the 2011 Walter Camp trophy that is annually awarded to the top college football player in the nation. While his college accolades are numerous and impressive, many still believe that the best is yet to come from Luck, with NFL draft guru Mel Kiper claiming he is the second best prospect he has ever seen behind fellow Palo Alto product John Elway.
Want an idea of how excited people are to see this kid play on Sundays? Even though he was named a Heisman finalist last Sunday, the big story surrounding him this week was whether or not he could co-exist with future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning on the Indianapolis Colts, his most likely NFL landing spot.
Not too bad for an all-glove, no-hit outfielder.