While Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert headline this year’s quarterback class, don’t be surprised if Utah State’s Jordan Love winds up being the steal of the draft. A projected first-round pick, Love has overcome a great deal on and off the field and was instrumental in Utah State’s success in recent years.
So, what exactly is the NFL getting in the 6-4, 224-pounder?
“I think they’re going to get a very, very unique and special arm strength,” Utah State head coach Gary Andersen said on The Zach Gelb Show. “If we just talk sheer athletic ability, he can make all the throws and he can adjust the throws. A lot of the kids can throw the ball really hard. A lot of kids can throw the ball to good spots. But he can adjust his speed, he can adjust from all three levels, from the short routes to the intermediate routes to the deep routes, and he can change the speed. He also can let go of the ball at different areas. He doesn’t have to have it at a perfect position in the pocket and the perfect throwing motion to get the ball out and where it needs to be, which I think is unique for him.”
Love didn’t run much at Utah State – he rushed for 403 yards and nine touchdowns in three seasons – but he knows how to use his legs.
“He’s quite a good athlete and I think what he does is he plays the game of football with really good angles,” Andersen said. “I mean in his throw game and I also mean that in his ability to escape. He has a great feel of understanding what the angles are of the defenders that are closing in on him and gaining what he can, but yet stay safe as a quarterback. He showed that with his legs all year long.”
Love has overcome a lot of adversity in his life. When he was in high school, his father committed suicide. Despite a stellar career at Liberty High School in Bakersfield, Calif., Love received just one scholarship offer from an FBS school (Utah State). And in his final college season, he lost 80 percent of his wide receiver production and four all-conference offensive linemen from the previous season.
Love remained even-keel through it all.
“Not one time did he bat an eye, did he say ‘Woe is me,’” Andersen said. “He kept on plowing and plugging and doing what he could to be able to win. So he’s a team guy also. . . . We had some really good players on our team. I’m not discounting from the team that we had. We did some great things. But Jordan made them better as the year went on. From [2018 to 2019], Jordan had an opportunity to help a team continually fight to get better. . . . Jordan was huge on the field and off the field allowing us to have the success that we had in 2019. . . . I know I’ll have a big smile on my face when his name is called early in that draft next week.”