Coming into the 2008 season, Miami-Northwestern had to replace 10 major college signees ncluding a staggering eight that signed with of Miami.
Late in the season, the coaches decided to make a switch, putting then wide sophomore receiver Teddy Bridgewater in at quarterback. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound athlete led his team to the state championship, where it lost to a Seminole team that featured Dyron Doe, Ray Ray Armstrong, and Andre Dubose.
Statistically, he couldn't have been much more impressive.
Bridgewater completes 97-of-160 passes for 1,560 yards and 16 touchdowns and only three interceptions. He also rushed for 211 yards and two scores and caught four passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. Possibly his best performance was in the playoffs against Hialeah, where he broke his predecessor and current Miami Hurricane starting quarterback Jacory Harris' single-game mark, completing 24 of 30 for 404 yards and four touchdown passes with Harris in attendance.
Bridgewater thinks he is light years away now that he has gone through spring practice under center.
"I think I have come a long way from last year already, I think my playcalling and ability to read the defense has improved the most. I still need to improve my mechanics, because I tend to throw sidearm a lot like I do in baseball. But right now I feel my biggest strength is throwing on the run, and being able to avoid defenders " Bridgewater told UGASports.
College coaches have come from across the country to see the 2011 playmaker, who cannot help but be compared to Harris at the same stage. The Hurricanes certainly noticed, as they were the first of four to verbally offer Bridgewater this spring.
"FIU, Miami, Tennesee and Auburn have all verbally offered me. It feels great to get these offers, and Miami was the first," he said. "hey have a good program, tradition-wise, they are a hometown school that has put players in the NFL, so I think highly of them offering."
While Bridgewater said he feels the University of Florida could be the next to offer, they are one of many national powers the rising junior has on his mind.
"The University of Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, LSU, Alabama and Ohio State are some other schools I am interested in," Bridgewater said.
One school is at the top for Bridgewater, but they may not even know it yet.
"I have not spoken with Georgia about their interest in me," he said. "They are just my favorite school, and I feel I have a chance to go in and contribute as a freshman, like A.J. Green did."
The talented quarterback puts a high value on an offer from the Bulldogs, and he says his friends at school have heard him mention Georgia a lot over the past year.
"It would mean a lot to me if they offered. I always go around saying, I want to go to Georgia, so getting an offer from them would be big," said Bridgewater.
While Bridgewater lives in Miami, he does have some ties to the Peach State. But as far as college football goes, he has yet to leave his hometown to see a game.
I have been to Georgia but not the University. I have family in Macon, Decatur and Atlanta. The only college games I have been to are FIU and Miami home games, because they are right down the road," Bridgewater explained.
Right now, the signal caller has plans to visit a few other top schools this summer.
"I plan to camp at Tennessee, Ohio State and Florida State," Bridgewater said.
Some have predicted that the talented two sport star will be a high pick in the Major League Baseball draft when his time comes in two years. Although that is still a possibility, his development on the diamond has taken a backseat to his time under center.
"I sat out this year for baseball because I was still playing football when the baseball season began," he said. "I think I am better at football right now because I lost a little not playing baseball this spring."
Last year Bridgewater made the switch from wide receiver to quarterback, and it was later that year that the impressive talent had what he calls his most memorable game in his life.
"My favorite moment was the Miami Central game in the playoffs where I found Tyrell Lewis for a 43-yard touchdown with 15 seconds to go," he said.
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