What makes a quarterback a truly great one? We often like to think of the great ones as invincible, maybe even immortal because they are able to fight through any trials and tribulations. The great ones are willing to do what others are not. They are never given the easy road and fight for everything they attain.
Wentz’s journey starts as just an average sized high schooler who even his wildest dreams never thought he would pursue football beyond high school. As a freshman in high school he was just 5 ft 8 inches—an undersized back up quarterback. The athletic, quirky Wentz did not land a single offer from a division one school. His only offer was from a FCS school—North Dakota State University—where he redshirted his first season. It was not until his fourth season that Wentz was named the starter. After leading the team to a 15-1 record, Wentz and the Bison won the NCAA Division I-AA Championship and he was named MVP. Despite missing the majority of his senior season due to an injury, he led the Bison to another title, again named MVP. Initially, most analysts projected Wentz to be drafted in the second or third round. After impressing scouts with his high football IQ and physical nature, Wentz was regarded as a top ten prospect. In the 2015 NFL draft, the Philadelphia Eagles selected Wentz with the second overall selection.
So, Wentz’s story goes from being just an ordinary kid from North Dakota who was not supposed to make it to the NFL to being the saviour of the Philadelphia Eagles. Every great one has a story that transforms them from an ordinary person to a true legend.
Wentz’s greatness starts with his relentless work ethic and preparation in hope to master the game. Even before the sun rises, Wentz is soaked with sweat as he is just getting in another repetitious set. Other times, Wentz is done watching film by the time another player enters the practice facility. What makes Wentz unique is that he a true student of the game and wants to out prepare every single opponent. His passion and love for football are undeniable. After a bad throw or misread, he is angry with himself because that is how much the great ones want to win. On the sidelines, Wentz is always found on his tablet, going over mistakes and preparing for the next drive. For Wentz, there is no such thing as a day off because he is always improving.
After only two years removed from FBS football at North Dakota State University, Wentz has shown glimpses of his greatness—in ways beyond traditional measures. Wentz can maneuver the pocket like some of the greatest—Favre and Rodgers. He can throw the ball as great as Manning and Brady. He does not mind the physical contact like Favre and Roethlisberger. He is unflappable and an admirable teammate like Joe Montana.
Through just two seasons in the NFL, Wentz has proved that he has all of the physical, mental, and innate qualities that make a player a superstar. Often, the term “a super bowl champion” represents what a player must be to be considered great— hard to quantify and impossible to illustrate. Although Wentz has not won a Superbowl yet, it is simply a matter of time.