Like many Heisman Trophy winners before him, Eric Crouch has found out stardom in the college ranks is not a guaranteed ticket to pro football fame and fortune.
Crouch, out of Nebraska, was voted the most outstanding college player in 2001. The Cornhuskers have produced many offensive “greats” but, by the time Crouch left the school, the quarterback had surpassed them all, leaving a trail of new records in the NU books. Among other highs, he is the NU career total offense leader (7,915 yards), holds the record for most career rushing yards by a quarterback, single game total offense record (360 yards), is the touchdown leader (88), and set an NCAA record for most career rushing TD’s by a quarterback (59).
After trials with the Rams, Packers and Chiefs, Eric accepted the NFL consensus he lacked size at quarterback and was sent packing to NFL Europe for the 2005 season as a safety. He didn’t agree. Stepping down from glory is jagged pill to swallow.
Eric Crouch wants to be a professional quarterback.
The Canadian Football League is giving him that chance. He impressed the Toronto Argonaunts enough during an off season trial, he’ll come to camp with a full shot at backing up starter Damon Allen.
Nebraska’s star isn’t the first quarterback of note to get his career in gear playing in the CFL. Wally Moon comes to mind. The Argonauts themselves have had Joe Theisman and 1984 Heisman Trophy winning Doug Flutie at the helm in the past. Eric Crouch isn’t even the first Nebraska Heisman winner to get his start up north. Johnny Rodgers was a first round draft pick in 1973 but he turned down San Diego in favor of Montreal.
Who knows? If things go well for Eric Crouch up there in Toronto, he might never want to come back.