Tommy Grady came to Oklahoma in 2003 a highly rated quarterback prospect loaded with size and skill.
Tough depth charts to climb, a still-haunting decision to transfer and a little bad luck yielded a disappointing college football career for Grady spent mostly on sidelines.
Nine years later, Grady is finally shattering records and leading a football team to success as a starting quarterback.
The crowds are smaller, the competition is weaker and there's much less glory than Grady once dreamed there'd be.
Still, in quarterbacking the Utah Blaze, Grady has become a bona fide Arena Football League superstar.
During the 2012 AFL season, Grady has thrown an AFL single-season record 137 touchdown passes for the Blaze, which enters Sunday's regular-season finale at Philadelphia with a 12-5 record and on a six-game win streak.
Just last week, he tossed a league single-game record 12 touchdowns.
The record-breaking campaign prompted the AFL to ask fans in an online poll Monday if Grady's season is the greatest by an individual in league history.
Both Grady and his coach agree on the primary cause of his success: The 27-year-old is finally in one place long enough to truly learn an offensive system.
“This is really my first time being in one offense for a while,” Grady said. “I really understand it and where the ball needs to go.”
Blaze coach Ron James said, “He's got a quick release and he gets very fast reads on what's going on.
“We put him in a system where he's flourished in the last two seasons. He's really starting to figure this thing out.”
Grady was a four-star prospect when he signed with OU out of his native Huntington Beach, Calif.
He redshirted, then was Heisman Trophy winner Jason White's backup during the Sooners' 2004 run to the national championship game.