News broke yesterday that Matt McGloin had been named the starting quarterback by head coach Bill O’Brien. Obviously that flooded the headlines at news sites, including this one. On the “back page”, if you will, was the footnote that Curtis Drake was officially no longer with the team. Drake was informed that the NCAA had ruled him academically ineligible for the 2012 season. He may consider transferring in order to play this fall, but is currently enrolled at Penn State, taking classes.
While the quarterback …umm… issue… has been the big news for nearly two years and running, the most recent development in Drake’s tumultuous career is not a small matter.
Despite Curtis’ lack of production since arriving at Penn State, I have always been a firm believer that he was one of the best athletes on the team, and just needed to be better utilized. Drake was the starting quarterback on Pennsylvania’s Big 33 team following his senior season. He came to Penn State as an Ath/WR, threw a touchdown on a gimmick play as a true freshman and even took some snaps last season as the “wildcat” quarterback. Drake had 102 yards receiving and 52 yards rushing in 2012, most all of which came in the final two games.
After taking over in January, head coach Bill O’Brien and defensive coordinator Ted Roof decided that Curtis Drake would make a solid cornerback, and they moved him to the other side of the ball. Drake quickly took advantage and was running with the first string defense during the Blue-White game in Aril.
It seemed as though the only thing Drake couldn’t do on a football field was consistently step onto it.
Although I’ve had high praise for his athleticism, Curtis Drake has not always conducted himself the way you would hope a player of his caliber would. Drake has been arrested twice in his time at Penn State and was involved in an altercation with newly-named starting quarterback Matt McGloin this past December. That incident caused both players to miss the TicketCity Bowl and Drake admits that he considered transferring after that. Along with his legal issues, Drake suffered a devastating leg injury that still has lingering effects to this day.
Drake’s services and athletic ability may be sorely missed this season. I wish him the best and hope that he gets things together, sooner rather than later. Regardless of the situation, I always find it saddening when a college athlete fails to meet his potential, no matter the reason. Hopefully this will be the last wake-up call that Curtis needs and maybe he’ll be playing FCS football this Fall, en route to a college degree.
Good luck, Drake.
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