NFL clubs in search of a new quarterback might find a faster, quicker quarterback in Johnny Manziel and a bigger, stronger one in Blake Bortles, but they won't find a tougher one than Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater.
That's what Bridgewater said when asked about what was perhaps the most vicious hit that any of those three ever absorbed in college (video, 14:28 mark), at the hands of Florida linebacker Jon Bostic. It cost the Gators 15 yards, but as an attempted tone-setter for the Florida defense in Bridgewater's sophomore appearance at the Sugar Bowl, it failed miserably. Already with a 7-0 lead, Bridgewater shook off the blow to shred the Florida defense for 266 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 33-23 upset.
"I'm just tough," Bridgewater told ESPN analyst Jon Gruden. "I'm a different breed. I'm a rare breed. I think, like you said earlier, my kind is becoming extinct. My background has made me the person I am today. It's made me a mentally and physically tough guy. Nothing bothers me. You can set my hair on fire, I'm still going to go. I'm just one of those guys."
That was among the points Bridgewater made in his time with Gruden for Gruden QB Camp, which puts the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach in the film room with the draft's top quarterback prospects. A segment from Bridgewater's episode aired on SportsCenter Monday.
Although Bridgewater's pro-day workout last week was roundly criticized, he is considered among the top three quarterback prospects in the draft and a possibility for the Houston Texans with the No. 1 overall pick. After showing some inaccuracy on pro day, which he later attributed to not wearing a glove, Bridgewater tumbled to the No. 26 overall pick in the mock draft of NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah.
As for his toughness, it's a trait that will be required perhaps more from Bridgewater, given his thinner frame. He weighed in at just 208 pounds on pro day, and his durability is among the concerns NFL scouts have expressed about him.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.