Thursday, April 02, 2020

Why not Roland Rivers, III? Thinking outside the box.

Roland Rivers III - Football - Slippery Rock University Athletics

If the New England Patriots are looking to replace Tom Brady, but not in the first round, there is an intriguing pick in the latter rounds recommended by

Roland Rivers, III is a 6-3, 225lb quarterback out of Slippery Rock in Pennsylvania. We love the PSAC that includes Bloomsburg, Edinboro, IUP, California-PA, etc. It is a D-II conference that plays tough, physical football. Rivers is probably the best kept secret in this whole QB class.

Rivers earned an invite to be one of the quarterbacks at the Hula Bowl after putting together a record-shattering senior season while leading Slippery Rock in 2019.

He set the Division II single-season record for points responsible for with 370 and tied the Division II single-season records for touchdowns responsible for (61) and games with at least three passing touchdowns (11). Rivers also shattered the SRU single-season records for completions (322), passing yards (4,460), passing touchdowns (52) and total offense (5,160). His 52 passing touchdowns are the fourth most in Division II history in a single-season and he became just the fourth player in Division II history to top 5,000 total offensive yards in a single-year.

Rivers ranked first in the nation in passing yards (4,460), passing touchdowns (52), total offense (5,160) and points responsible for (370) and finished the year completing 322-of-481 passes for 4,460 yards with 52 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, while also rushing for 700 yards and nine touchdowns. He shattered the SRU career record for touchdown passes, throwing 80 in just 26 games over two seasons at The Rock.

Rivers, who played his first two years at Valdosta State, finished his four-year career with 9,041 passing yards, 1,723 rushing yards, 99 passing touchdowns, 20 rushing touchdowns, 10,764 yards of total offense and 119 total touchdowns responsible for. His 99 career touchdown passes are 25 more than any other active player in Division II at the end of 2019. He led Slippery Rock to a 13-1 record in 2019 with a trip to the NCAA Division II Semifinals.

Rivers went 23-3 as a starter at SRU over the last two years of his career, leading The Rock to at least the NCAA Quarterfinals in each year. He became the first SRU player ever to be awarded the Harlon Hill Trophy as the Division II National Player of the Year. Rivers also earned multiple first team All-America recognitions, was the National Offensive Player of the Year in Division II and was announced as the Maxwell Football Club's Brian Westbrook Regional Athlete of the Year.

I know what you're going to say, "But that's at the D-II level!" Tell that to non-BCS players like Tyreek Hill, Adam Thielen, Pierre Garcon, John Brown, Malcolm Butler, Austin Ekeler, etc. Sure, none of those are quarterbacks but when someone dominates like Rivers has, is there any reason to skip over him and select a mediocre QB from a BCS program. Teams are more likely to spend precious draft picks on a backup from a BCS school (like Matt Cassell) rather than use a late-round pick on a small school guy who proved it in a dominating fashion on the field, like Rivers.

Rivers is for real and someone needs to take a chance on him.


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