Blake Bortles set the stage for a 12-1 season at Central Florida with a road win over Penn State last September, but little did he know the game also set the stage for the Jacksonville Jaguars' selection of him with the No. 3 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said UCF's 34-31 win over the Nittany Lions essentially put Bortles on the club's radar.
"After the Penn State game, when I was looking at the quarterbacks last year, and realizing we were going to be in a spot to maybe get the best one or one of the best ones ... That's what you spend a lot of time in your fall trying to figure out if you don't have what you deem as a franchise quarterback," Caldwell told Sirius XM NFL Radio. "After the Penn State game, and I'd known Blake for a while scouting Central Florida quite a bit, I just really like the way he handled everything in that game. As the tapes came in throughout the year, I made sure I watched every Central Florida game."
Bortles torched Penn State on 20-of-27 passing for 288 yards and three touchdowns.
One can only wonder if the same game helped turn Caldwell on to two other Jaguars draft picks: Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson (second round, No. 61 overall), and UCF running back Storm Johnson (seventh round, No. 222 overall). Robinson had a field day against the Knights with nine catches for 143 yards and a touchdown, while Johnson rushed for 117 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown rushing, and another receiving.
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