2013: Second Team All-American Athletic Conference. Started all 13 games. Broke Brian Brohm’s single-season school record of 30 TD passes set in 2007. 2012: Big East Offensive Player of the Year. First Team All-Big East. Played in all 13 games, starting 12. Sugar Bowl MVP. Played on broken left wrist and sprained right ankle at Rutgers as winner went to BCS, was 20-28 for 263 yards, two TD and one INT in victory. 2011: Big East Rookie of the Year. Played in all 13 games, starting the final 10. First true freshman to see action at QB since Brohm in 2004. High School: Verbally committed to Miami but went to Louisville after Miami coach was fired. Played in U.S. Army All-American Game. Set Dade County record for most TD passes in a game (7).
Extremely competitive and driven to succeed. Well-prepared and confident in his approach. Operated a pro-style, progression-read offense where he is asked to scan the whole field and set protections. Footwork is very clean and in rhythm -- throws on balance with sound mechanics, a fluid delivery and smooth stroke. Very good timing, touch and anticipation -- throws receivers open. Is patient working through his reads and will step up in the pocket. Sells play-action hard and takes what the defense gives him. Poised in the face of the blitz and often anticipates it coming. Is very mentally and physically tough -- played through a broken left wrist with a sprained ankle in what was essentially the 2012 Big East championship game, coming off the bench to captain the Cardinals to a come-from-behind victory. Is a student of the game with a very good understanding of football concepts. Plays like a coach on the field, knows the responsibilities of everyone on the field and can get teammates lined up correctly. Makes few mental errors. Consistently moves the chains and converts in critical situations. Is given a lot of autonomy to make pre-snap reads and adjustments at the line of scrimmage and understands how to exploit defenses. Meticulous in his preparation. Has a passion for the game and really works at it. Smart, determined and focused. Is only 21 years old -- incredibly mature for his age and can see the big picture. Really works at his craft and showed gradual improvement every season. Football is extremely important to him. Highly respected, unselfish team leader.
Has a very lean, narrow frame with limited bulk and small hands. Does not drive the ball with velocity down the field and can be affected by cold and windy conditions (see Cincinnati). Can improve placement and touch on the deep ball. Adequate athlete. Is not an overly elusive scrambler -- struggles escaping the rush and buying a second chance with his feet vs. pressure. Passing stats are padded from operating a passing game that relies heavily on short, lateral tosses. Long-term durability could become a concern without continued strength and weight gains.
A calculated, football-smart, precision-matchup rhythm passer, Bridgewater would be best suited entering a warm-weather or dome environment such as those most common in the South divisions. Would stand to benefit heavily from operating a short, dink-and-dunk rhythm passing game. Compensates for a lack of elite arm talent and prototype measureables with the intangibles and football intelligence that could elevate the other 52 players around him. Instinctive passer with the laser-beam determination to become a Pro Bowl-caliber passer in the right system.