Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Jimmy Garoppolo, quarterback...

...of Eastern Illinois, will be one of 30 players on hand for the NFL draft in New York next month. The 2010 Rolling Meadows graduate is being touted as a late first-round or early second-round pick.

From "The best QB you've never heard of":

Garoppolo wasn't groomed as a quarterback from the day he could hold a football. He always figured baseball would be his sport -- his mom insisted he would've made a fine player had he stuck with it -- but gave it up because the game "got a little boring for me."

He played football growing up, too, but never quarterback -- even though his coaches begged him to be one from the day he put on pads. Instead, Garoppolo followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Mike, playing outside linebacker and running back.

Still, Garoppolo's father recalls his son leading his pee-wee team in touchdown passes, since they'd run halfback passes to maximize his son's skill set. But a desire to play quarterback didn't come about until Garoppolo's junior year at Rolling Meadows High School.

Rolling Meadows didn't have a quarterback lined up, so Garoppolo -- who played varsity as a linebacker his sophomore year -- decided to give it a shot.

"I was a decent athlete at the time," he said. "I could throw the ball well because of baseball, so it worked out."

Prepare to hear a lot more about this kid.

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