USA Today Sports interviewed former Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer. In a quotation that will raise eyebrows and cause furious emoji spasms, Kizer, discussing his potential, suggested he could be the best quarterback ever, a Tom Brady-type quarterback with Cam Newton’s athleticism.
"“Name a college quarterback who goes into the game-plan meetings on Monday and throws his notes at the coaches,” Kizer said. “No one else game plans the way I do. No one else prepares the way I do. No one else knows football the way I do. No one else is as big as I am. No one else is as powerful a runner as I am. Pat Mahomes might throw the ball 80 yards and I can only throw the ball 72, but I guarantee he can’t throw an out route the way I can. “No one else can do what I can do. And I’ve truly figured out in this (draft) process, if I can maximize all my potential in every aspect of the game – this is bold – I do have the ability to be the greatest quarterback to ever play. Imagine taking (Tom) Brady’s intellect and Brady’s preparation and putting it on a guy with Cam Newton’s body. Why can’t I be the greatest? The only thing stopping me from it is me. That’s what’s driving me now.”"
Skeptics will note Kizer’s Notre Dame team went 4-8 last year, albeit with some awful luck in one-score games. Though, to be fair, Pat Mahomes went 4-7 vs. FBS teams. Last year’s No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff went to one bowl game in three years. They also may note one of the aforementioned Mr. Brady’s virtues coming out of college was that he wasn’t rattled by a quarterback battle.
Kizer has a dilemma as an introvert, per the article. Being quietly diligent and leading by example has its virtues. But, it would play far better if he was a tight end. At quarterback, it gets you accused of “not being a leader,” and “not caring about football.” How that works in the actual football is not clear. Brian Kelly has made multiple quarterbacks struggle. But, it’s a bad look for the Kabuki theater that is NFL Draft season.
The devil is when you try to counter that narrative and prove how driven you are, it’s hard to avoid overcompensation. You can’t help but come off as arrogant and blustering.