The Unheralded Star

If you do not know who Patrick Mahomes is, it is time to wake up and smell the coffee. He is third in passing yardage and touchdowns in Texas Tech history with 11,252 yards and 93 touchdowns. He holds the NCAA single game record for passing yards (734) and total yards (819). The Whitehouse native was also awarded the Sammy Baugh Trophy that is given to the nation’s top passer.

MahomesMahomes is well on his way in terms of a fruitful career in football. However, he had to work hard to get to this point as he was lightly recruited coming out of high school. He linked up with quarterback connoisseur Kliff Kingsbury at TTU who was a star in his heyday. Kingsbury had coached Johnny Manziel, Baker Mayfield, and Davis Webb so naturally he helped morph Mahomes into a fine orchestrator for his air raid offense. Three years later, he is now one of the best passers of his class. Mahomes knows there are many underdogs like him and he has a message for them.

“Follow your dream. I was lightly recruited and it worked out for me. Just follow your dream,” stated the Red Raider.

Now everybody has gaudy numbers and accolades these days from Division I prospects all the way down to Division III. Here are some reasons why Mahomes is considered a top five quarterback prospect for the 2017 NFL Draft. Physically, the Red Raider captain passes the eye test standing at 6’3 and weighing 230 pounds. On a lot of his deep throws, he stood tall in the pocket has he took spine tingling hits. He has a cannon for an arm and he displays supreme confidence in his arm. Mahomes had a barrage of throws down the field that arouse fans on account of his touch and effortless motion. He would drop it right on the money without breaking receivers’ strides.

Athletically, Mahomes is capable of running with the ball. Tech ran a few plays during the season to keep teams honest. He showed a few moves in a few games and his athleticism can be attributed to his basketball and baseball background. He was going to follow in his father’s footsteps as a baseball player, Pat Mahomes, until he committed to football before his junior year at TTU.

Mahomes may still sound like the typical prospect, but the characteristics that separate him from the pack are calamity and his improvisation. He played behind a young offensive line so that meant he was on the run more than a wanted fugitive. However, Mahomes showed he was comfortable being uncomfortable. He would run around the pocket making defenders miss and complete these ostentatious throws at Texas Tech. He was like Houdini in the pocket.

The Texas Tech product’s best throw of the season might have come against Oklahoma. He went through his progression, realized he needed to buy more time, evaded pressure, threw the ball to his receiver who was covered by three defenders, and completed it. That is the type of confidence he has in himself. His ability to make lemonade with oranges is reminiscent me of Aaron Rodgers whom he models his game after. In other words, Mahomes is innovative.

As the NFL Combine, Pro Day, and Draft near, Mahomes continues to fine tune his game mentally and physically.

In terms of improvement, Mahomes said, “Definitely working on my footwork and my knowledge of the game. Just trying to learn the NFL systems and relay them to my offense.”

He continues to seek guidance from former MLB player and family friend Latroy Hawkins. Hawkins has been there for his entire life and he has been instrumental with guiding the young quarterback through the NFL process.

Mahomes has a great arm, is a good improviser, and plays with a chip on his shoulder. He continues to fly under the radar and it only adds to his drive and competitive spirit. In the right system, Mahomes can continue to turn heads as an unheralded star.

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