- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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ESPN polled 128 quarterbacks recently on several topics that ranged from the first time they threw a football to their family backgrounds. Kevin Seifert analyzed the trends of the survey in this insightful piece. As far as the Ravens go, Joe Flacco went against many of the trends while backup Tyrod Taylor fell in line with most of them. Here is how the Ravens quarterbacks answered the questions:
Age when they first threw the ball
In the survey, 79.5 percent of current quarterbacks first threw a ball between the ages of 1-5. Flacco was in the minority here because he didn't throw a football until he was 13. Only 2.7 percent of the current quarterbacks first threw the ball at 11 years of age or older. Taylor was like most current quarterbacks and first threw at age 5.
Instructional camps have become a big part of the recruiting process, which is why 61.6 percent of current quarterbacks acknowledged they attended them while growing up. Once again, Flacco didn't fall in line with his peers because he didn't go to any football camps. Taylor did. One similarity between Flacco and Taylor is neither spent any money on a personal quarterback trainer before college.
Both Ravens quarterbacks were raised in two-parent households. How important is that? Well, 89.8 percent of the current quarterbacks surveyed were raised in a similar setting. While you can't make sweeping generalizations about any particular family dynamic, you could surmise that two-parent households offer more support and stability. Another fascinating number is 67.7 percent of quarterbacks came from families with three or more children. Flacco is the oldest child with four brothers and two sisters. Taylor is an only child.
There's a huge disparity here between Flacco and Taylor, and the results might surprise you. Flacco, a Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, was not as heavily recruited as Taylor, Flacco's backup for the past four seasons. Taylor was a five-star prospect coming out of high school and was rated as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback (one spot above Cam Newton). He received 60 to 80 scholarship offers out of high school. Flacco was a three-star prospect who ranked 39th among pro-style quarterbacks. Five schools offered a scholarship to Flacco.
When they knew
Based on the amount of interest Taylor drew coming out of high school, it's not a surprise that he was 17 years old when he knew he'd have a chance to play professionally. It took a little longer for Flacco. He said he was 23 when he knew he'd get an opportunity to play in the NFL, which just happened to be the age when he was drafted by the Ravens.
As you might recall, Flacco started his college career at the University of Pittsburgh before transferring to the University of Delaware to get more playing time. He was so pessimistic about his chances of playing in the NFL that he asked his college football coach about playing baseball after his junior year. Obviously, he made the right decision to stick with football.