Stanford's Andrew Luck is somewhat insulated from the NFL Draft hype

FIESTA BOWL — Teammates and the low-key Stanford atmosphere have helped keep star quarterback Andrew Luck down to earth, even as the media and NFL scouts obsess about him.
by Berry Tramel Published: December 28, 2011

“Andrew's a very impressive young man,” said Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton. “Take football away from Andrew, and still he has the personality and character to become president of the United States some day.

“Just tremendous poise. An overall sense of maturity that's probably not expected of a college kid.”

But don't get the idea that Luck is all business. That he's all football and all school.

Stanford all-American guard David DeCastro describes his quarterback as “goofy.” He says it endearingly, because that's how Luck was when he showed up as a freshman from Houston 3 1/2 years ago.

“He hasn't changed a bit,” DeCastro said. “Still goofy. Free-spirited. Does what he wants and doesn't care what people think.

“He does a pretty good job of making fun of himself.”

And now Luck is at the Fiesta Bowl, Stanford's second straight BCS game after making just one major bowl between 1971 and 2010.

“For me, college football is important,” Luck said. “I came back to play college football. It wasn't too hard to maybe push those distractions aside and focus on winning college football games and understanding whatever happens, the next level will happen.

“There is time to think about it after the season and prepare for that. Right now, I would be doing a disservice to the university, the coaches, the players by getting caught up in that hoopla.”

So it's left for the constant noise of the NFL to debate Luck's future past Monday night. Will the Colts get the No. 1 pick? Will they trade it? Will they team Manning and Luck together? Will the Rams get the pick? What does that mean for Sam Bradford?

“My preferences haven't changed,” Luck said. “Wherever I land, it will be great. I am not rooting for one team to win or lose or whatever. So I'm not going to say I don't care about it because I do care about football. Wherever I end up, I'm sure it will be the best spot for me.”

Just as the Farm that serves as a cave was the best spot for Luck in 2011.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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