Luck to stay at Stanford at least another year


By Rick Eymer

Palo Alto Online Sports

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck made a quick, though very unlikely hasty, decision concerning his future. The Heisman Trophy runner-up announced Thursday morning he intends to remain at Stanford for at least another year.

"I am committed to earning my degree in architectural design from Stanford University and am on track to accomplish this at the completion of the spring quarter of 2012", Luck said in a statement released by the school.

He was not made available to the media for comment at his own request.

The Stanford Athletic Department originally announced the decision through Twitter, ending speculation Luck would be the NFL's overall No. 1 pick this year. Bobby Garrett, Jim Plunkett and John Elway were the former Stanford quarterbacks picked as the overall first pick in the NFL draft.

The great Frankie Albert and John Brodie were also first round picks and both played for the San Francisco 49ers.

Luck threw for 284 yards on 18-of-23 passing as the Cardinal (12-1) won its first BCS bowl game in school history Monday night, a 40-12 victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.

Luck was named the game's MVP after throwing four touchdown passes, three to tight end Coby Fleener.

Pete Thamel of the New York Times sent out this tweet: "Andrew Luck told me this summer that graduating from Stanford meant a lot to him. I joked he sounded like a PSA. Now he is one."

Luck threw for 3,338 yards and 32 touchdowns this season. He completed nearly 71 percent of his passes and earned an efficiency rating of 170.2 (average is 100).

In related news, Stanford wide receiver Ryan Whalen accepted an invitation to play in the 86th East-West Shrine Game, to be held on Jan. 22 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Whalen, an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection this season, finished his senior campaign with 41 receptions for 439 yards and two touchdowns to rank as Stanford's second leading receiver. He finished his collegiate career with 140 receptions for 1,184 yards and seven touchdowns.

In other news Thursday, fourth-year junior linebacker Thomas Keiser has informed the Stanford football program he intends to forgo his final year of eligibility in order to enter the NFL Draft.

Keiser, a native of Wexford, Pa., started all 13 games for the Cardinal and finished the 2010 campaign with 38 total tackles, including 9.0 sacks. A two-year starter, he recorded 109 total tackles, including 19.5 sacks among his 31.0 tackles-for-loss, in 38 career games (28 starts).

Keiser, redshirted the 2007 season as a true freshman and had one year of eligibility remaining. Though Keiser will leave Stanford for winter quarter to prepare for the scouting combine, he plans to return to school for the spring quarter, according to the Stanford Daily, and will need only one more quarter after that to complete his degree.


"People are criticizing him for turning down the money, but I admire and understand his decision. It's hard to put a price on your senior year of college (especially if you're Andrew Luck), and it's hard to walk away from a chance to win the Heisman and maybe even a national championship. He's a talented guy, and so long as he doesn't suffer a debilitating injury he'll make plenty of money and have tons of success in the pros, so why not stick around and stay in college one more year? Definitely makes my decision of whether or not to study abroad fall quarter a much more difficult one." -- Michael Lussier (Stanford '13)

"I would have personally gone to the NFL and taken the money, but it's awesome that he's staying. With him back we have a legitimate chance at a national championship next year. And it's gonna help recruiting a ton too -- who wouldn't want to come to the school with a No. 4 (national) finish and a Heisman favorite QB? And the hottest coach in the country, assuming Harbaugh sticks around." -- Skyler Dougherty (Stanford '13)

"I think that Luck's decision to stay at Stanford will be both great for Stanford football, and for Luck as a person. It's really a reinforcement of Stanford's focus on academics that he will finish his degree and maintain his commitment to Stanford football. He is an extremely talented and smart guy, and we are so happy to have him for another year!" -- Taylor Thibodeaux (Stanford '11)

"This is a win-win for him. He gets to spend another year at Stanford, be part of team that will be highly ranked again next year, finish his degree and enjoy Palo Alto. It's not like the NFL is going anywhere, it's one of the best run leagues in the world. It will still be there when he graduates." -- Oliver Luck, Andrew's father

"Do you remember former NFL QB Charlie Johnson, came out of New Mexico St. U.? Well, Charlie played hard; but he studied even harder, earning a PHD in Chemical Engineering. And that's just what he told me when I asked him what was most important to him when he was playing in college, getting his PHD or playing in the NFL. He said young athletes should play hard, but should study even harder. He knew that a career in the NFL would not last forever, but that his PHD would always be there. Charlie Johnson now teaches at NMSU. Andy Luck has that same great outlook as regards to his future and I tip my hat to him. His stock in the NFL can only go up. And, with his degree, he won't have to worry what might happen to him when he's too old or hurt to go Hut!! Hut!!" -- Gabe Renzo, Dearborn Heights, Mich.

"Congrats to Stanford and Andrew Luck for his pursuit of his degree in Architecture. Great for college FB." -- Urban Meyer, Florida head coach

Note: For cheap entertainment, sign on to twitter and read the thousands of tweets regarding Luck's decision. Personally I couldn't stop laughing.

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Like this comment
Posted by MV resident
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 6, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Yay, the dynasty continues!

Dear 49ers,

Please go 0-16 next season.

Thank you!

Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2011 at 2:58 pm

It is good to hear that Andrew Luck is not too distacted by the gleam of the NFL and choose to stay in college to complete his education. His decision should be an example to other college students who are also football players. COMPLETE YOU EDUCATION FIRST!

Nation wide unemployment is in the low to mid teens, but to those without a college degree it is in the mid 20's.

Like this comment
Posted by ten18
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I suppose it is a noble decision, and only his to make, but to look away from guaranteed employment at a salary of millions per year has to be a tough one. He could easily finish his degree after his football career (if he even needed to). One good hit by a defender between now and graduation, and it could be all over. Hope it works out for him and I will certainly be looking forward to watching Stanford FB next season!

Like this comment
Posted by what about Harbaugh
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Is Stanford going to be able to keep winning without Jim Harbaugh? Andrew Luck is risking a big flop next year if the new coach isn't as good. Unless he knows something about Harbaugh that the press hasn't released yet.

Like this comment
Posted by Don't worry
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 6, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Given that Luck is returning, I think it is pointless to speculate on Harbaugh's potential absence and what effect that would have on the team. Has everyone forgotten about last year? When Gerhart chose to go Pro, many people were wondering if Stanford would even be able to maintain the 8-5 record they finished with. Most people figured that a star such as Gerhart was the key to success. Well, turns out that was not the case. Luck, the lesser known star at the time, was still there. So this time, even if the all-mighty Harbaugh leaves, I have a pretty good feeling Stanford will compete for a Pac-12 title next year as long as they have a half-descent coach.

Like this comment
Posted by Rich C
a resident of another community
on Jan 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Andrew Luck's decision to remain at Stanford is a smart move by a man who is much more than a great football player. It is great to see college football players who value the outstanding learning experience they have as much as the headline grabbing touchdowns on Saturday. I believe it take a real person who knows what he wants to make decision like this. You won't see this type of decision made by someone created from media hype..
All the Best in 2011 in the classroom and on the field!!!

Like this comment
Posted by what about Harbaugh
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 6, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Rumor mill says that Harbaugh turned down a $7.5 million/year offer from the Miami Dolphins. Is he going to stay at Stanford with Luck?

Like this comment
Posted by Tough decision
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jan 7, 2011 at 5:15 am

Wow, impressive decision by a young man who knows short term sacrifice for long term achievement of goals.

One more year, finish his degree, take choices available then.

Jim Plunkett comes to mind, another young man who made the same choice.

Congrats and good luck to you!

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 7, 2011 at 9:30 am

I hate to shock you, but for the majority of us, we don't care about this. For those of us outside the football scene, college football students give every impression of being hired pro athletes rather than genuine students. Anyone care to correct me? I tuned in briefly (by chance) to the Heisman award presentation and was amused at the winner, who used plenty of "aints" and other such slang - hardly the mark of an educated college student. Generally when I have been unfortunate enough to hear a college football "star" speak on camera, the language/grammar has been laughable.

Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Despite the enormous sums of money that Andrew Luck left on the table, I would have done the same. You can be young only for so long and never again, and Stanford is perhaps the greatest elite university/country club combo there is. The big money is still going to be out there for him. I think Harbaugh will return to Stanford for one more season, trying to go for the national chamionship. Hopefully, the 49ers will finish with the worst record, and in 2012 we will have a Harbaugh/Luck tandem in 49ers uniforms.

Like this comment
Posted by JacoP
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Umm.. He still needs two more years to get his degree. Each year he stays in school his stock in the NFL will decline and the possibility of injury goes up. No way Stanford is going to have nearly the success they had this year without Harbaugh. I bet you Luck declares for the draft next week. He has until the 15th.

Like this comment
Posted by Why Not
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Re JacoP's posting, true, have to strike while the iron's hot, but maybe he doesn't feel comfortable to play professionally yet. Could play pro and then return to finish his degree at Stanford later?

Anonymous: Nice attitude. Leave this thread alone if you don't want to read about football. Everyone has their strengths. None of us expect athletes to speak like lawyers nor do we expect doctors or engineers to play football well.

Like this comment
Posted by Chris Gaither
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Good choice for Andrew Luck! I am proud of his decision. He is following in the footsteps of both John Elway, and Jim Plunkett. Elway graduated with a degree in Economics and went on to make his real money in an auto dealership - Auto Nation. And now, he will guide the Denver Broncos in a VP administrative position. Not bad for a football jock - the degree in Economics certainly helped to mold his professional and personal choices. Luck is an architectural design major - he obvious believes in not putting all his eggs in one basket. When football is over - college level or professionally, it is important to be a critical thinker, and be able to apply what one has learned. And, he enjoys his major. Most importantly, those college years of our youth only happen once in our lifetime, so enjoy these days Mr. Luck. Good choice, and go Cardinal - on to the Rose Bowl and BCS championship game! - Cheers!

Like this comment
Posted by degree
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Luck only needs one more year to graduate...... not two as some people posted.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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