Saturday, October 22, 2011

More on Voytik (and his so-called lack of height)

Chad Voytik's nationally televised game, in which his team did not score, was the first time I was able to see him play an entire game, and despite what you may think, I still think the kid has a very good chance of being a star.  

Like I said in the prior post, the rest of his team is very poor.  Voytik took snaps behind a line that was a sieve, and his receivers were very bad.  As a quarterback, there's not much you can do in that situation.  It's not like Rushel Shell who, like Voytik, is basically all that his team has.  As a running back, you can just get the ball easily in your hand and run, run, run.  And somebody like Robert Foster can do the same.  But as a quarterback, you need somebody to actually throw the ball to or it doesn't matter how good you are.  Voytik was running for his life and was throwing bullets to receivers who continually broke off patterns (if they knew the patterns at all), were very slow, and had no hands.  He would continually throw passes to players who just weren't going to help him complete a play in any way.  

To me he showed a very strong, accurate arm, and a quick release, plus he ran hard with good speed.  And just as importantly, he had to be frustrated to have his chance on national TV be ruined by poor teammates, but not once did he sulk, complain, or show frustration.  

I was living in New Jersey when Joe Flacco played there, and I saw him play.  And I saw Tyler Palko and Rod Rutherford play in person when they were in high school.  All three ended up being very good college quarterbacks, and I'm telling you without a doubt that Voytik is significantly more talented at this same stage than all three.  Hopefully Pitt fans who read this will take my advice and be excited about this player because if you can't get excited about a kid who ranked fifth at the Elite 11, was named best leader at the camp, and was said to have the best arm and quickest release there, then I can't help you.

As for those who keep talking about his size, let's put that to bed right now because it's just showing a lack of football knowledge for those who continually mention it.  Voytik is said to be either 6'0" or 6'1". This is just some of the players in the same range.

Michael Vick, Virginia Tech, 6'0"-  All-American, Heisman Finalist, Four-time NFL All Pro.

Eric Zeier,  Georgia, 6'1"-  Set 67 school records and 18 SEC records.  Most prolific passer in SEC history and became just third player to pass for over 11,000 yards in his career.  First Team All-American.

Major Harris, West Virginia, 6'1"-  Two time Heisman Trophy finalist, All-American, College Football Hall of Fame.  Led WVU to the National Championship game.

Pat White, West Virginia, 6'0"- All time leading rusher for a QB in history, top five in all major passing categories for the school.  One of only five players to both rush and pass for 1,000 yards in a season, and he's done it twice.

Drew Brees, Purdue, 6'0"-  Considered the best Big 10 QB in history, Super Bowl winner and perennial All-Pro, future Hall of Famer.

Kellen Moore, Boise State, 6'0"- Heisman Trophy finalist, All-American, will soon become winningest QB ever, and on pace to be top five in yardage in history.

Chase Daniel, Missouri, 6'0"-  Heisman Trophy finalist, All-American, and over 12,500 passing yards.

Seneca Wallace, Iowa State, 5'11"-  Threw for over 5,200 yards and ran for 912 more in just two seasons.  Has played in the NFL for the past nine years.

Troy Smith, Ohio State, 6'0"-  Heisman Trophy winner, All-American, and led Ohio State to the National Championship game.

Colt McCoy, Texas, 6'1"- Heisman Trophy runner-up, All-American, currently has more wins of any quarterback in NCAA history.  

Ty Detmer, BYU, 6'0"-  Heisman Trophy winner, two time All-American, threw for over 15,000 yards.

Doug Flutie, Boston College, 5'9"-  Heisman Trophy winner and a finalist another time.  Over 10,000 career yards.

Joe Hamilton, Georgia Tech, 5'10"-  Heisman Trophy runner-up.  Threw for over 3,000 yards and ran for over 700 yards in his senior year.

Timmy Chang, Hawaii, 6'1"-  All-time passing leader with over 17,000 yards, plus most attempts and most completions.  

Kordell Stewart, Colorado, 6'1"-  Set school records for yards, completions, and touchdowns, and played in the NFL for eleven years.

Danny Wuerffel, Florida, 6'1"-  Heisman Trophy winner, two time First Team All-American, two time Heisman finalist, ended career with a then NCAA record 114 passing TDs, and won a National Championship.

Eric Crouch, Nebraska, 6'0"-  Heisman Trophy winner, school's career total offense leader, one of only three players to run for over 3,000 yards and pass for over 4,000 yards in his career.

Shawn Jones, Georgia Tech, 6'1"-  Four year starter and quarterback of National Championship team.  Over 9,000 total yards.

Russell Wilson, Wisconsin, 5'11"-  NC State transfer who currently leads the undefeated Badgers.  Already has over 10,000 yards passing in his career and a Heisman and a national championship this season is not out of the question.

Ben Bennett, Duke, 6'1"-  Finished career with the top passing yardage in NCAA history.  Set seven NCAA, 15 ACC, and 42 school records.

Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech, 6'1"-  ACC Player of the Year and passed for over 7,000 yards and nearly 2,000 yards rushing with 67 total touchdowns.

Woody Dantzler, Clemson, 6'0"-  First player to throw for more than 2,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards in a career.  Set 53 Clemson records.

Rex Grossman, Florida, 6'1"-  Heisman Trophy runner up and All-American.  Playing his ninth season in the NFL.

Jason Gesser, Washington State, 6'1"-  Pac 10 Player of the Year, led team to two ten win seasons, finished seventh in Heisman vote.  Threw for over 6,100 yards and 53 yards in his last two seasons.

Cade McNown, UCLA, 6'1"-  Finished eighth and third in Heisman voting, All-American, over 10,000 passing yards.

Rodney Peete, USC, 6'0"-  Finished second in Heisman voting and played in the NFL for 16 years.

Brett Basanez, Northwestern, 6'1"-  Came within four rushing yards of being the only player ever to pass for over 10,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards.  Over 11,500 total yards is 13th all-time.  Still holds 29 school records.

Drew Tate, Iowa, 6'0"-  Big Ten Player of the Year and three seasons over 2,500 yards passing.  

Antwaan Randle El, Indiana, 5'10"-  Finished sixth in Heisman voting.  First player in history to both run and pass for 40 touchdowns.  Finished career fifth all-time in total yards.  First player in history to have 2,500 total yards for all four years of his college career.  


  1. Chris - when will you list the small qb's who failed?

    This seems like a defense of Voytik because you know he stunk last night.

  2. The same time I list all of the tall quarterbacks who've failed. If you are so intent on thinking he will fail, then just go for it. I don't know what else to tell you.

  3. Chris,

    I've got to say, you've become a go to go for a voice of reason. If Peyton Manning had Pitts Oline and receivers he would have never won an MVP or Super Bowl. That doesnt mean he wouldnt still be great. I think a few Pitt fans just hate Graham, are sad about Wanny, hate Pederson, or a bit of all of the above. Its really tainting their view of whats happening. I cant even talk about the FB team with most people bc they already talk about how Graham is a bad hire. Now they are moving on to his recruits. Voytik is infinitely better than anyone we've gotten at QB since Palko. His team is awful, and Pitt fans seem to relish that his team looked bad just like they are relishing the Pitt team lookin bad.

  4. I agree with everything you wrote except for Voytik being the best QB prospect Pitt has had since Palko. He's actually a better prospect than Palko because he is more refined at this stage and is a much better passer. Palko was ranked close to where Voytik is ranked now but that's because he projected as a safety, too, if he didn't pan out at QB. QBs who can make a position switch will also get an added bonus in recruiting. But it still wasn't enough to be higher than Palko.

    As for Pitt fans, I believe that 90% of them are good and reasonable people. Unfortunately there are 10% who are clueless, self-loathing haters, who are sad, little people. And they seem to enjoy being the center of attention so they are the ones you see on message boards. The majority of good fans just read and post occasionally. Some good fans post a lot, too, but unfortunately all of the nutty fans just love to post their inane babbling hate all the time. Luckily, they don't come here and I have good readers. But look at the idiot fans on some other message boards. They are always the same people and everybody knows who they are except themselves. They actually think they add something when in reality people just laugh at them and are disgusted by them.

    Look, if Pitt stinks I will be the first to say it. And right now they stink. BUT, to say Graham is always going to be a failure is moronic at this point. Anybody with any common sense can see that. And I knew that same minority of jerks would go off on Voytik, too. I called it before it even happened because those people love to be depressed and they will find any reason to feel that way. A Super Bowl winning quarterback says Voytik is excellent. A star college quarterback loves him as a player. Other elite high school quarterbacks rave about him. Scouting services give universal acclaim. It doesn't matter, I saw him play on TV and he sucks and he will always sick and Pitt will always suck and whine, whine, whine. Pathetic.

    Bottom line, any rational fan can see that Graham has had great offenses before, Calvin Magee has had great offenses before, and you could easily see a future offense that features an elite QB, and elite RB, and an elite WR if Robert Foster comes. I'm NOT saying that it will all definitely come together as planned, I'm just saying that common sense says that it very well could. It's not like this is Graham's first rodeo and Voytik and Shell are two star sleepers. You are talking quality here, people. If anything, this is the time to be excited by the future, even if the present isn't going so well.

  5. Well said. Cabe23...I remember Petyon getting lit up by Florida a couple of times so you are 100% right. Dokish, I seem to remember you mentioning at the beginning of the new blog not to expect too much. Are you setting me up for a let down? I hope the basketball stuff you have up your sleeve is just as insightful and plentiful.

  6. Quit using facts, they have no place on the internet.

  7. You're right about Voytik being a much better passer than Palko Chris. As for the Graham haters, I dont understand why they dont just get behind whomever is the Pitt coach bc they are Pitt fans. I wanted Bradley, but now I think I was wrong. If we ever want to become a more elite program I think Graham is the right guy for reasons you've outlined previously.

  8. You have to admit, Chris...some of the skepticism is warranted considering the general malaise, under-achieving, and brand killing football Pitt fans have had to endure over the past 25 years.

    I'm with you that the guy has to have some time and we should all be a bit realistic, but don't act like Pitt fans have't bled a little in this fight.

  9. I watched Voytik Friday night as well. I agree with you Chris that he looks to have talent. He showed he's accurate, can scramble well and has a quick release.

    Now he did struggle throughout the game and it would have been nice to have seen him throw a few touchdown passes. I found it a bit eerie how similar his offense looked to Pitt's: An offensive line that couldn't block and a receiving corps that had trouble getting open and holding onto passes- Two things that must get better for Pitt to be successful next year–even with Voytik under center.

    As for him projecting better than Palko... well... let's not get ahead of ourselves. There is something to be said about a QB coming out of high school who is used to winning. A powerful force of confidence begins to grow inside people who win all the time and "winning" becomes a part of who they are... like in the movie The Devil's Advocate when Al Paccino's character tells Keanu Reeves' character (a lawyer won's won every trial) that "Maybe it was your time to lose." And Keanu Reeves snaps back, "I don't lose."

    Now I'm not saying that a QB who leads his team to a state championship will be more successful in college than one who doesn't (we need look no further than Tino to disprove that theory). What I am saying is that I'd feel a little more confident about Voytik being the answer if he could have at least found a way to orchestrate a few scores in Friday's game and keep his team in the game. His team scored zero points against a Bradley Central team that his Clevland team has traditionally dominated.

    I did follow the elite 11 (QB) camp a little and was impressed with how Voytik handle himself there. But then the QBs didn't experience a rushing defense in that camp quite like the they see in a game.

    Still, I do want to believe Voytik could be "the guy"... but then I wanted to believe Pat Bostick was going to be "the guy" when he came to Pitt ranked as the 6th best QB in the country. We know how that turned out. A shame too, since he seems like such a nice guy.

    In conclusion, I am excited that Voytik has chosen to be a panther and I think he looks like someone who could be special. I'll leave it there. I'm just not ready to pop open the champagne yet. In the meantime, I'd like to see Graham and company land at least one more top QB prospects and-now that Graham has stated he's going to simplifying his offense–I'd like to see the coaches get smarter about working Gonzalez and Jones more into the QB equation.

    Separately... while I am not overly concerned with Voytik's height–he seems tall enough–I'd like to see him stand back to back with Tino. I agree with you Chris that there have been more than a few successful QBs in the 6' to 6'1" range. Not so many in the under 6 ft category, as they have trouble seeing over their own linemen as well as defenders and they tend to get the ball batted down a lot (Trey Anderson is a case in point).

    Thought I'd add a few more to your list of successful college QBs 6'1"and under:

    Tony Rice, lead Notre Dame to national championship in 1988... (I stood next to him at a Notre Dame bar after the Pitt/ND Game that year in South Bend and can tell you he was closer to 5'11' than the 6'1" he was listed. His speed and shiftiness allowed for receivers to be more open. Then again he also had Raghib "Rocket" Ishmael on his team to compliment his skills.

    Pitt's own Alex Van Pelt (6'1) who holds the school's record for career passing yards (11,267). He's tied with Tyler Palko (also 6'1") for 2nd most touchdown passes in school history (66).

  10. I totally agree that Pitt fans should be bummed out by 25 years of underachieving. In fact, I think the Pitt program is one of the top 5 most underachieving program in the country. But Todd Graham was here for seven games and Chad Voytik isn't even here yet, but people are already blaming them for Pitt's last 25 years.

    If in Graham's third year they are not at least a 9 win team, then people can start complaining loudly. But to do it now is just being incredibly pessimistic. A record setting head coach, a top 10 QB, and a top 5 RB should make fans optimistic until, and unless, they prove they are failures.

    As for Palko, I compared them at the same time of their careers, and when you do that, Voytik is similar but he is a better passer at this time because he has a much better arm, and has a much quicker release. I'm not saying Voytik will end up being better than Palko, but if he's equal than Pitt fans should be happy because he was a very good quarterback.

  11. Palko had balls and was a WINNING FOOTBALL player in his DNA. I shutter to think what he could have done with two more years with Walt or any respectable coach that could have developed him or allowed him to flourish. Two years in the "snooze and lose/throw sideways/no shotgun/West Coast Offense minus West Coast Talent" Cavanough was his doom.

    If this kid has one half of Tyler's heart and winning passion--and a coach that can utilize him-- we will be fortunate.

  12. if i was voytik i might consider going elsewhere, because of, because of talent at, because of all the idiots that don't play and likely never have played college football that call themselves fans at pitt...YES! he is an 18 year old kid trying to make pitt a better program, if he succeeds, great. if he does not, well then he will bust his butt trying.....half of you are idiots, you grade him on 5 minutes of TV against the 7 time state champions in tennessee, you have no idea what type of team he has, give the kid a break, he is coming to Pitt to try and make a difference, be REAL fans and support his efforts rather than trying to destroy them. I hope PITT is better than this, for the recruits sake, or you will never get a decent PROSPECT to come here.....