When you’re the worst team in the league and finish with a 2-14 record, you get to make the very first pick in the following year’s draft. The Buccaneers did just that. Drafting a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from a major program at a big Florida school. This quarterback lost only one game all year and that was in the National Championship game. But to which team did that #1 draft pick lose… Oregon or Penn State?
If you said both, you are 100% correct. In 1986, the Miami Hurricanes was led by Heisman Trophy winner and future #1 overall Buccaneer draft pick Vinny Testaverde as they played in the Fiesta Bowl. The Hurricanes lost to the Nittany Lions 14-10.
In 2015, the Florida State Seminoles, led by Heisman Trophy winner and future #1 overall Buccaneer draft pick Jameis Winston, would play in the Rose Bowl, losing to the Oregon Ducks 59-20.
Testaverde would play for 21 seasons in the NFL. Winston is in his fifth. But we find ourselves now in the preseason of 2019.
Winston is on the shelf for the final preseason game. Blaine Gabbert is in a sling. Ryan Griffith is holding the second-string QB position. A Testaverde will be under center for a bulk of the snaps Thursday in Dallas.
The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far
Vincent Testaverde, Jr. graduated from Jesuit High School where he was MVP as both a junior and senior. Testaverde would play in 2014 as a true freshman at Texas Tech before following in his dad’s footsteps at the University of Miami. Testaverde would spend the 2015 season as a redshirt freshman and the 2016 season on the practice squad. In 2017, Testaverde transferred to the University of Albany, sat out 2017 per NCAA rules, and totally ball in 2018.
Running a pro-style of offense since his days at Jesuit, Testaverde now finds himself suiting up for the Buccaneers this Thursday. Having already been in camp earlier this summer, the QB has spent extensive time in the playbook and is readying himself for his professional football debut.
Perhaps Testaverde’s performance will be one of the highlights of the matchup with the Cowboys this week.
It’s Come Full Circle
Thursday night, Mitzi and Vinny’s son will come into the Tampa Bay huddle at AT&T stadium and assume the position his father held for six seasons.
It’s old meets new. It’s the familiar but unknown. It’s the past meeting the present. And one thing is for sure; if the offensive line doesn’t step up and give that young man a chance to perform, they are going to get an earful from Buccaneers fans upon their return to Tampa.