Warren Central High School in Indianapolis produced the 1985 Gatorade Player of the Year, Jeff George. After making All Everything and every All American list, the highly sought after George signed with Purdue.
The Boilermakers were not a football power in those years, but they usually had a good Quarterback from Mark Herrmann to Scott Campbell to Jim Everett. Jeff George, from nearby Indianapolis was going to be next.
George started as a true freshman in 1986 and he threw for 1,217 yards. But, it was not a good year for either George, or for Purdue. Purdue head coach Leon Burtnett was fired.
Purdue hired former Texas coach Fred Akers who was as conservative as they come and that didn’t appeal to Jeff George at all. He was a passing Quarterback and who would blame him for wanting to throw the football.
George transferred to Illinois where John Mackovic was coaching.
George sat out the season required for transferring players and then he was the Illinois Quarterback in 1988 and 1989. After passing for 2,257 and 2,738 yards, George declared for the NFL.
He was taken as the first pick in the 1990 NFL Draft by his hometown Indianapolis Colts.
Recently, ESPN announcer and former Penn State Quarterback and a member of the famous NFL Quarterback class of 1983, Todd Blackledge, said that Jeff George threw the prettiest pass that he had ever seen. I probably agree with that.
Jeff George was as calm and as cool as any Quarterback I have ever seen. He walked slowly to the line of scrimmage in the days before the shotgun formation was so common and he almost looked bored as he was looking over the defense. He was not going to be intimidated by any defense, or any Linebackers.
Then, he often dropped back and threw one of the best looking passes that a lot of people have ever seen.
However, as gifted as he was at throwing the football, he never really was a super star in the NFL. After four seasons, the Colts traded Jeff George to the Atlanta Falcons after the 1993 season.
George had problems with head coach June Jones in Atlanta and he was traded to Oakland. From there, George was off to Minnesota, Washington, Seattle, Chicago and then back to Oakland.
He finished his NFL career with over 27,000 passing yards and 154 Touchdown passes.
Jeff George led Indianapolis Warren Central High school to the Indiana state championship in 1984 and 1985.
In 2013, Warren Central High School won their 8th Indiana state championship led by Quarterback Jeff George Jr.
Unlike his father, George Jr was not highly recruited. Illinois signed him as a gray shirt which means he was not on the team in 2014 and would have to pay his own way to school during his first
Junior did not play at all in 2015, but under new head coach Lovie Smith, Jeff George Jr was the star of the recent Spring Game.
Wes Lunt is the returning starter at Quarterback and he will be a senior next season. Jeff George Jr will be one of the guys in the battle to replace Lunt for 2017.
Jeff George Jr is much more athletic and a much better runner than his father was. He can run for that needed first down and he can throw on the run. He may not have his father’s great arm, but his arm isn’t too bad, either.
I don’t know why he was not recruited more heavily than he was, but George Jr has a chance to be a pretty good player for Lovie Smith.
Who says the state of Kansas doesn’t produce any football talent? The state does have a few talented prospects from time to time, but few of them stay home and play for hapless Kansas and surprisingly few stay home and play for Bill Snyder at competitive Kansas State.
Another Jeff George grew up on the plains at Kansas and played at Leavenworth High School. Like another Jeff George, the Jr version, this Jeff George was hardly recruited at all.
He signed with Southwestern Oklahoma State University and he even redshirted. He must have had second thoughts about this level of play because he transferred to Dodge City Community College back near home.
As a redshirt freshman, the 6-6, 190 George, caught 46 passes for 690 yards and 4 Touchdowns. He caught 6 passes for 118 yards and 2 scores in his very first college game. George was starting to get noticed a little bit for his efforts.
In his second season at Dodge City, George led the team in receiving with 49 receptions and some
recruiting services were ranking him as one of the top JC Wide Receivers in the nation.
This Jeff George decided to take his talents to play for the Tennessee Volunteers for the 2016 season over offers from Mississippi State, Kansas, Arizona State and Southern Miss among others.
He will be a junior at Tennessee this season and he also has a shot with his 6-6 frame to be a big time player for the Vols.
One Jeff George has already been a college football star. Tune in over the next couple of seasons and find out if the next Jeff George’s also make it.