If you were to use some adjectives to describe the typical 21st century college quarterback, which words would you use?
Athletic. Intelligent. Mobile. Accurate. Disciplined.
How about other words like devout? Happily married? How about Scholar?
If you did a double take at those last three qualities, then chances are you haven’t been paying attention to the quarterback play within the Big 12 Conference this season.
If that’s the case, then you have been missing out on some truly remarkable quarterback play by three QBs who could be in a men’s accountability group with Tim Tebow (Only, since they are married and Tebow is a bachelor, that could get awkward).
Meet Kansas State’s Collin Klein, Baylor’s Nick Florence, and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones — three of the top QB’s in the nation. Klein led his team to a one-loss season (The loss coming at the hands of Florence’s Baylor) and the Fiesta Bowl (Tonight at 5:30pm CST). Jones is one of the winningest QB’s in NCAA history and led the Sooners to the Cotton Bowl (Tomorrow at 7pm CST). And Florence led the Bears to a 8-5 season, including a 5-1 record since November (The only loss coming to Jones’ Sooners) and a Holiday Bowl victory over #19 UCLA. Oh, and Florence is leading the nation in total offense, breaking RG3’s 2011 record in the process.
The three quarterbacks are stud football players, worthy of BMOC status on their respective campuses and all the obsessive paparazzi attention that comes with being that guy. Oh, and all happen to be happily married men and born-again Christians.
You may recall that Klein was the subject of a recent Sports Illustrated story by sportswriter Thomas Lake. Klein married his wife Shalin (A KSU basketball player) in July and graduated with his degree in finance from KSU. Yes finance, one of the five most challenging degrees at any school. Oh, and he also plays several musical instruments.
You may recognize Jones from his I AM SECOND testimony (Provided below). Jones is married to the former Whitney Hand who, like Klein’s wife, was a college basketball player (And a darn good one).
But the quarterback of the three that you know least about is Baylor’s Nick Florence. Like REG3, he graduated from undergrad in 3 years. Like Klein he graduated with a degree in Finance. But unlike his peers, he is currently enrolled in Baylor’s highly ranked MBA program (And is at the top of his class). And like his peers he is married. In fact, when Rachel first met Nick she had no idea that he played football. Perhaps that is due to the fact that Nick is a super devout evangelical Christian and that Jesus shines brightest in his life.
I love that we have these three models of college athletics available to offset some of the more egocentric, selfishness displayed by many of the pampered prima donna athletes of years past (Deon Sanders, Brian Bosworth, Vince Young, Anyone playing for USC).
And while Tim Tebow did much for the Christian witness in college football, I am happy to see some married dudes going to work for Jesus in the sport. The testimonies of Florence, Klein, and Jones shatter the bogus cultural notion that marriage hinders one from attaining personal goals and professional success. Marriage can actually be a component of success. I hope that younger Christian athletes take notice.