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Kwisatz Haderach
31,773 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Not everyone is a fan of the so called football minor leagues, but every year in these leagues there are players who make the jump to the NFL, some cases they become special teamers and reserves.. in special cases these players become stars. Just because these players aren't in the NFL doesn't mean they can't play, in many cases these guys went unnoticed because they played at a small school and were under the radar, or they improved after they graduated high school. Getting into the major leagues in all sports is just as much about talent as being in the right place at the right time. That being said, there are tons of players who are playing in these leagues who aren't good enough to play in the NFL and are still playing because they love football, and to get paid for it is still great.

Some players who came from these pipelines in the last decade:

Jeff Garcia (Browns), Kurt Warner (Rams), Shelton Quarles (Buccaneers), Tommy Maddox (Steelers), Dwaine Carpenter (49ers), David Patten (Patriots), Mike Vanderjagt (Colts).. and honestly many more..

So here are some of the players I think will make their way to the NFL sooner rather than later..

Casey Printers

CFL's Player of the month for August, and most likely Casey will end up with CFL player of the year. For many people you'll know Printers as the QB of TCU when LaDanian Tomlinson was starring. After LT graduated, Printers was set to take over the show, but he wasn't satisfied with the offense and felt that it wasn't featuring him, so he transfered... to Florida A&M. This was after he was a highly recruited coming out of high school, where he was sought after by schools like Notre Dame, Syracuse, Oklahoma, and Arizona State. Coming out for the NFL draft after his senior season, he went undrafted, after a season in a lower school suffering injuries.

Casey Printers is the definition of a dual threat QB, quick feet, elusive when he's on the run, and a rocket launcher for an arm. If you haven't watched him play yet, you should. The flaw about his play, is he tends to throw off his back foot, and never really sets his feet and steps into throws. But the positive is Printers has a good amount of time to improve with another season under contract wth the British Columbia Lions. This season he was in the right place at the right time, as the Lions' starting QB suffered an injury and the Lions haven't looked back since. Printers is a leader and a level headed player, who has his team on track to win the Grey Cup. Unlike former CFL QB Ricky Ray who is most likely a last cut by the Jets, Printers has the ability to take over an NFL team after a year of watching on the sidelines and be the guy. At only 23 years of age, Printers has a whole career ahead of him.

Adrian McPherson

Slowly but surely, Adrian McPherson is getting people to notice his on field talent instead of his rap sheet. Adrian McPherson who will be a second year starter on the Indiana Firebirds of the Arena Football League, should be playing for the Florida State Seminoles this Friday against arch-nemesis Miami, but that wasn't meant to be. In his freshman season, he won over the Seminole faithful as he impressed while incumbent Chris Rix depressed, but it was all derailed as it was found out he was betting on the team. Adrian, a young kid, who was one of the top recruits of his QB class got into the wrong crowd and had to pay for it. Immediatley he lost his scholarship and he was looking for a school to transfer too, but no one wanted to give him an offer.. then he got a phone call from former NFL QB Steve DeBerg with an offer to play for the Firebirds. He was a football reject who was hoping to find a lifeline to continue his career.

The plan for the Firebirds was to take McPherson and bring him along slowly behind QBs Kevin Daft (formerly of the Tennessee Titans) and AFL veteran Tony Zimmerman. When things got bad, DeBerg threw caution to the wind and threw in the rookie.. and immediatley McPherson was a hit. He took the league by storm and was the most recognizable face in a league full of annonymity. Despite the constant pressure, and the smaller field, McPherson made his best Michael Vick impersonation scrambling and making plays, and making sharp throws on the shoe box sized field. His first game ended in disaster; with the game entering into it's waning seconds the Firebirds were driving for the score, as the clock ticked below ten he ran under center and faked a spike and threw the ball. The pass was complete but it was inbounds and the game was over. Not long after that loss, Steve DeBerg was fired after an 0-5 start, that was when things started rolling. After the terrible start McPherson lead the Firebirds to an 8-3 record in the last 11 games, but it was too little too late as the Firebirds failed to qualify for the Arena Bowl Playoffs.

Only being four years out of school, McPherson is still eligible for the NFL draft in 2005, any team who drafts him will have to wait until June to get him, because it's hard to see a player with this much talent keep his team out of the playoffs two consecutive years. McPherson has a strong arm, and is extremely mobile, he's a lot more accurate than he ever was in Florida State and the AFL is making that even better. When he plays it'll take at least a year for him to get re-accustomed to the outdoor game, and another before he could even think about playing any significant playing time. Don't be shocked to see him drafted anywhere from the 5th - 7th rounds in the draft.
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