Monday, December 28, 2009
Overlooked, UH's humble Keenum shines
By Jeff Caplan
Houston quarterback Case Keenum had a tremendous junior season, bettering what was a sensational sophomore season. The touchdown-throwing maching from Abilene -- he played at Abilene Wylie -- leads his Cougars into the Armed Forces Bowl for a rematch against Air Force and its No. 1-ranked pass defense at 11 a.m. on New Year's Eve.
Keenum led UH to a 10-3 record while throwing for 5,449 yards and 43 touchdowns. Over the past two seasons, Keenum has amassed 10,469 passing yards, 87 touchdowns and just 20 interceptions. Not bad for a kid passed up by the so-called major college programs. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder received only a two-star ranking (out of five) from notable recruiting website Rivals.com, and others.
Along with UH, only Baylor, UTEP and North Texas recruited him.
If Keenum returns for his senior season, he will be among those at the top of the initial Heisman Trophy watch list.
The son of a football coach who schemed an aggressive passing game at small-college programs in Texas, Keenum said he thinks about being snubbed from time to time.
"You know, I wouldn't say it drives me. I'll think about it every now and then, just honestly to give advice to other high
school athletes, guys at my high school there at Wylie and Abilene or anywhere really," Keenum said. "I'd give that advice to those guys that it's not always about what Rivals ranks you and it's not always about having this many offers by the time you're a sophomore. That's good for those players that do have that, but that's not the only way to be successful in college and have a good successful career."