NEWARK, Del.- Many fans of the University of Delaware, even if they don't like the Ravens, are excited for next Sunday's Super Bowl. That is because of Baltimore's Joe Flacco, who is a part of growing tradition of great quarterbacks from the school.
Talk with former Delaware head coach KC Keeler about Flacco for even minute and his pride becomes obvious. Keeler says he knew Flacco would be great - maybe even before the quarterback himself knew.
"He came to me his senior year," said Keeler. "He wanted to play baseball. I said, 'Joe, you will be a draft choice next year.' He looked me dead in the eye and said, 'Do you really think I'll be a draft choice?' I said, 'Absolutely.'"
When Flacco takes the field for the Super Bowl, he'll be the second Blue Hen QB to do that. The first was Rich Gannon with the Oakland Raiders in 2002. Pictures of the two are all over the place in the school's athletic facilities.
UD Sports Information Director Scott Selheimer worked with them both.
"Both of them are different," he said. "Rich is a little more charismatic. Joe lets everything roll off his back."
It's not unique for a university to have had two Super Bowl starting quarterbacks. Ten schools, including UD, have done it. But among that group, Delaware is definitely unique.
"We're the only smaller, FCS, school that has done it," said Selheimer. "Some of the schools that haven't Ohio State, USC, Texas - they've never had any."
"You think about it and it's like, 'Wow, there hasn't been two from a school,'" Keeler said.
Though it is unique, neither Selheimer nor Keeler seems all that surprised by that.
"I think it says a lot," Selheimer said. "About the program we have here and the quarterbacks that have been produced here."
"We've had some pretty good success at the University of Delaware," said Keeler. "And a lot of that success is because of the great quarterback play we've had."
Flacco isn't the only former Blue Hen playing the big game. Rookie Gino Gradkowski is a lineman for the Ravens, too.
Monday, May 20 2013 11:28 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:28:49 GMT
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