There is a ton of buzz surrounding the 2014 quarterback class, and right now none may be gaining more steam than the Blake Bortles bandwagon.
The UCF signal caller has been gaining traction as an NFL prospect all year long, but he proved against SMU on Saturday that he has the toughness to play in cold weather despite playing his home games in Florida, and showing NFL scouts some more of the first round ability we have grown used to.
Bortles’ two rushing touchdowns proved to be the difference in the second half, scoring the go-ahead touchdown on a 15 yard run late in the third quarter. While he wasn’t spectacular in the first half, Bortles showed in the second half what the hype was all about. He finished with 24 completions on 35 attempts, and tacked on 242 yards with two rushing touchdowns and no turnovers.
Bortles is a 6-foot-3, 230-pound junior who was initially recruited to UCF to play tight end, but it’s clear he’s got a future at the QB position.
He’s gotten compared to sort of a hybrid between Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger, though he’s obviously not the blue chip prospect that Luck was coming out.
This is a prospect who lacks a standout trait other than the fact that his team continues to win, and he seems to be the cause of all the big plays. UCF is now 11-1 and ranked 16th in the nation, and is in line to reach a pretty prominent bowl game. Bortles will have a huge decision to make after the season of whether or not he’s going to leave school and head to the NFL, because there will be some stiff competition for the QB jobs in the first round.
That being said, this year there is a huge demand for QBs and it would shock me if Bortles declared and wasn’t selected in the top 32 in May.