Monday, July 27, 2009

Tudor's Take: Skinner's long shot

Other than Norm Snead in the 1960s and '70s, Wake Forest quarterbacks have had very little success in the NFL.

Karl Sweetan bounced around with a few teams in the late '60s and Mike Elkins stayed on the Kansas City roster for a couple of seasons in 1989 and '90, but the school's all-time passing leaders basically have never been deemed strong professional prospects.

Current standout Riley Skinner likely will fall into that same category, but NFL scouts gradually have begun to take notice of his three-season stat sheet — 34 touchdown throws, almost 7,000 yards and a completion percentage (67.3) better than Matt Schaub compiled at Virginia, Philip Rivers at N.C. State and Matt Ryan at Boston College.

"It would be something I never expected, of course," Skinner said Sunday of his NFL chances. "But I never expected to be a starter in college, either. It's no secret that I've always been a long shot."

But Skinner is bigger (6-1, 210) than some fans probably think, and his leadership record is impressive. And if Deacon coach Jim Grobe and offensive chief Steed Lobotzke make good on their stated intention to standardize the playbook, Skinner will do more pro-style pocket passing than at any time during his career.

During most of his eight years at Wake, Grobe has favored a lot of mis-directional, off-beat tactics that have included much play-action passing and a fair amount of quarterback running.

"I'd be surprised if we didn't still do some of those things," Skinner said. "But it is true that we're going to try to throw more from a set pocket. I know we have the offensive line to protect me and I love our receivers. If I can't get it done, there's no one to blame but me." -- Caulton Tudor, (Raleigh) News & Observer


MichaelProcton said...

His "leadership record?" Really? If that's all we're counting on, shouldn't Chris Leak be a starter these days?