Former Florida State Quarterback Chris Rix Talks to Whatifsports.com From WhatIfSports.com image

And the 2010 Heisman Trophy Goes To ...

Rix breaks down the QBs vying for the Heisman
By Ryan Fowler, Whatifsports.com
September 23rd, 2010

Remember that time you raced to your laptop as if Usain Bolt was in the lane next to you, logged on to Facebook and tapped on your keyboard like you were Mozart composing "The Marriage of Figaro?" But instead, you were authoring your latest and greatest "Status Update" boasting your ability to take out the garbage, mow the lawn and change a dirty diaper.

How long do you think it took you to type that masterpiece up? Thirty seconds, maybe?

Now, think back to last Saturday when you called Jake Locker or Denard Robinson a bum because of a bad quarter or even an under-achieving possession.

Those thirty seconds may come back to bite you, in ya bum!

For four years at Florida State, when Chris Rix took the field, he had all of 30-seconds to complete a play.

Sounds simple enough, right?

"What makes the quarterback position so difficult and the most unique position in all of sports is the responsibility and the accountability that the position requires," Rix said. "But the QB also needs to possess the ability to be the ultimate multi-tasker."

Rix took us through the 10-step process each quarterback goes through, each play of the game:

1) know and call the play in the huddle clearly and correctly, break the huddle

2) as you walk to the line, look at your personnel and make sure everyone is lined up correctly

3) recognize the defense and get a pre-snap read

4) possibly call an audible and change the play based on the current defense

5) make sure everyone is set prior to snap

6) be prepared to change the play again based on any defensive change or different look

7) make sure everyone is lined up correctly and set prior to snap

8) get the snap and secure the football

9) make the handoff or

10) make your post-snap read (after the snap) and throw an accurate, catchable pass to a very small window that is moving faster than most automobiles.

Your "cleaning all day" status update seems inconsequential now doesn't it? (Side note: who really cleans ALL day?)

"The best way to make most of this look easy to the average football fan or observer is practice and repetition, practice and repetition, practice and repetition," Rix said.

Denard Robinson

Because of Mark Ingram's injury to start off the season, a lot of the early Heisman talk focused on the trigger men of the NCAA. Being one of the elite college QB's earlier this decade, I asked Rix to chime in with his thoughts on what makes a few of these guys so special and separates them from the rest of the NCAA.

The man they call "Shoelace" took our, and a few defensive backs', breath away the first few weeks with his blazing speed and all-of-a-sudden, where-was-this-last-year? adaptation to Rich Rodriguez's spread-offense.

"I believe his style is best compared to a Porsche in the scheme of the spread offense," Rix said. "He may not be as big as a Lamborghini (Terrelle Pryor) or a Ferrari (Andy Dalton/TCU), but when you need to open it up and go from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds...little #16 performs like a 2010 Porsche Carrera Turbo. Robinson has the ability to play at the next level and in my opinion will make a fine slot receiver, return specialist and 'wildcat' package player."

Andrew Luck

I always make the joke that "so-and-so" or "that team" would get more national recognition if they didn't get lost on the West Coast. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is a prime example of a guy who, because of kick-offs at 11:15 EST, you may haven't had the privilege of watching. Well, crush a 5-hour energy or cram tooth picks between your eye lids if you must because he's worth the price of admission from your couch.

"Luck is a fiery guy who leads his team with passion and appears to be having fun while doing it," Rix said. "I'm sure with the Stanford curriculum, Saturday game day seems to be a way for Luck to relax. Luck also has a very competent, successful coach in Jim Harbaugh and is being groomed to be an NFL quarterback. As far as a pro, I can see him making an impact sooner than any other rookie signal caller coming out based on the system he will have come from along with his physical and mental capabilities."

Ryan Mallett

As the Lloyd Carr era ended in Michigan and Rich Rodriguez regime change began, quarterback Ryan Mallett packed his bags for a system that could best use his 6-foot-7 frame and cannon for an arm. At the time, new Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino needed to land a big-name recruit and though he didn't just graduate from high school, the former NFL coach struck gold when inking Mallett. His reputation as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation has been on the rise since Week 1 and if he can pull off an upset win of top ranked Alabama on Saturday, Mallett will be thrust to forefront of Heisman Trophy candidates.

"Cool," Rix said. "That's the word that comes to mind when I watch Ryan Mallett on film. He almost seems half sedated when on the field, but you also get the feeling that he is in total control. He reminds me of Carson Palmer when he played at USC: big, tall, strong arm, and dependable. In my opinion and barring injury in the hard-hitting SEC, Mallett will be a very high draft pick in this April's draft."

Jake Locker

You could hear the Heisman Trust, who we've come to know better the last few weeks, mutter under their breath from their New York City high-rise apartment after watching Jake Locker under-perform in his game versus Nebraska last Saturday night. The Washington quarterback looked overwhelmed on that night. His passing numbers alone (4-20, 2 INTs) reek of mediocrity in front of premier competition. But Rix says don't be so quick to jump off the Locker Heisman bandwagon just yet.

"Other than his offensive coordinator (Steve Sarkisian), Locker doesn't have a lot of help around him right now," Rix said. "He doesn't have a lot of game-changing skill players around him and his offensive line is average at best. A lot of the Heisman hype and PR surrounding him has been generated by the University of Washington themselves...along with still riding the wave of the big win over USC last year and the game-winning drive that he orchestrated. Locker is a solid QB who will be drafted in the first round based on his ability to run & pass along with the quality of coaching he has had the past two seasons. Given the right system and supporting cast he will make an impact at the NFL level."

So, why not click on the Facebook icon below and spend the next 30-seconds figuring out what type of car you are...that is unless you can't help yourself from bragging about your latest trip to the post office or supermarket.



Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at rfowler@whatifsports.com.

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