As the 2012 season comes to a close, far below expectations as we all know, so with it comes to close of the career of the starting QB of the Yellow Jackets since the middle of the 2010 season. Tevin Washington has been there through a lot...two ACC Championship games, an ACC scoring record for QBs, big wins and losses, and what's about to be his 4th bowl game.
The funny part is, I don't think anyone really ever pegged Tevin to be a 2 1/2 year starter. After all, Josh Nesbitt was supposed to play out the 2010 season. Jaybo Shaw was assumed, at the time of winning the ACC Championship, to be the heir apparent to Nesbitt. Synjyn Days and David Sims were better athletes and favored to take the QB spot over once Shaw followed coach Jeff Monken to Georgia Southern. And last but not least, Vad Lee was designated as "the future". Yet through all that competition, Tevin Washington always made it to the top.
Tevin was never envisioned to play this much and become the team leader that he has. It's been a remarkable journey of perserverance, readiness, and opportunity...and every bit of it earned. Unfortunately for Tevin, he never looked the part. He wasn't recruited with the fanfare of Josh Nesbitt, Vad Lee, or Justin Thomas. Until CPJ came to Georgia Tech with his Spread Option offense, Tevin's best chance to play football in a BCS conference was as a DB.
When Tevin's first opportunity did come, it was under the fire of a Thursday night in Blacksburg in 2010. On that night, an interception by Josh Nesbitt late in the 2nd quarter, and his subsequent career-ending arm injury trying to make a tackle, gave Tevin his shot. Inheriting a 14-7 lead, GT went run-heavy for most of the 2nd and 3rd quarters and couldn't tack on. VPI engineered a 4th quarter comeback, taking a 21-14 lead on a scoring run by David Wilson, and a passing TD on the next possession by Tyrod Taylor. With 6 minutes left, Tevin hit Tyler Melton on a 42-yard pass play, and engineered a drive (capped by an Orwin Smith 9-yard run) that tied the game at 21-21 with 2:30 remaining in the game. Tech had seized momentum in the game.
Tevin's heroics (an eerie foreshadowing of much his career) would be squandered that night. No sooner did Tevin sit down on the bench...David Wilson would take the ensuing kickoff to the house and put the Hokies up 28-21. But Tevin almost did it again, scrambling for a 17-yard gain on 3rd down, hitting Kevin Cone on a 38-yard pass, and getting the Jackets all the way down to the 16-yard line. Without any timeouts remaining, Tevin took his shot to the endzone and missed, resulting in an interception.
This was pretty much a microcosm of Tevin's career...made a ton of plays but was consistently let down by his Defense and Special Teams on multiple occasions. Tevin's record as a starter currently stands at 15-15, though W/L record might be as misleading for QBs in football as it is for Pitchers in baseball. This record is always hung on Tevin, because his flaws are generally easy to pick at in trying to explain his record. As an option QB, he is not the best athlete on the offense. He also gets pointed out for his lack of a strong arm, which has seen its share of passes with A LOT of air under them. These, I argue, mean nothing when judging his effectiveness as an option QB. Look at his numbers when compared to Josh Nesbitt's 36 games started to his 30 games started...
Josh Nesbitt...118-390 (43% comp), 3183 yards (8.2 ypa), 19-14 TD-INT, 600 rush for 2467 yards (4.1 ypc)
Tevin Washington...172-340 (51% comp), 3263 yards (9.6 ypa), 20-15 TD-INT, 529 rush for 2179 yards (4.1 ypc)
I'm not going to say that Tevin didn't have his share of clunkers as a QB, but his numbers are as good, if not better, than his predecessor (who many consider him inferior to). But I dare anyone to find another player with as underrated a resume as he has put together (I haven't even talked about his TD records). I look forward to Vad Lee, Justin Thomas, and more athletic and flashy guys at the helm...but I will remember Tevin's leadership and contribution in the time he was here.
So what will be your thoughts about Tevin Washington?