Birth of a Salesman
Is Brady Quinn the next Peyton Manning?
Posted: Wednesday April 18, 2007 12:32PM; Updated: Wednesday April 18, 2007 12:34PM
SI.com's Adam Hofstetter spent a day last week with top NFL Draft prospects, Adrian Peterson and Brady Quinn. Below is a recap of his time with Quinn. Here's his story about Peterson.
He didn't work out at the Combine, he's coming off an injury, and his predicted draft position has gone up and down more than Roger Ebert's thumbs. But if you spend even a few minutes with Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, one thing quickly becomes clear: he can sell.
I spent most of a day last week with Quinn and Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson when they were in New York to promote Sprint's NFL Draft Day video content. While I was with him, Quinn did a radio interview in which he talked glowingly about the provider's service and a specific phone, and even sounded disappointed that he's going to be speaking on a land line at the actual draft.
Quinn told me he plans to use the service on Draft Day to see where Notre Dame teammates and other friends in the draft are headed. And here I thought it was invented just so that I can catch some of the draft while I'm waiting outside the department store fitting room rehearsing the way I'll compliment my wife's outfit when she comes out to ask my opinion.
Quinn has so many of the qualities that sponsors look for that the endorsements he already has could soon be just the tip of an iceberg so big it could single-handedly disprove global warming.
He's got a pitch-perfect blend of humility and confidence, of innocence and experience. When he talks about the draft, he focuses not on draft position but on his excitement to simply know where he's headed. He knows about the responsibilities that come with the big payday and the expectations that will be heaped upon him by an entire city beginning with the moment he's drafted. And yet he also knows just how lucky he is to be in such a position. "It's ridiculous to think that you get to play a game you love for a job you get paid for," he said. It's enough to make you think that Irish coach Charlie Weis wasn't being biased when he told the Associated Press last week, "That 'it' that certain people have, well he has it."
Quinn's looks aren't hurting him, either. When he walked into the restaurant where we ate lunch, I happened to be sitting next to the woman who teaches those kids from Newsday. "My daughter told me he's very good-looking," she said of Quinn before getting up to take a closer look. "She was right."
With a newly minted finance degree under his belt, Quinn certainly understands the business of sports. At one point I accidentally referred to Notre Dame as a franchise. When I quickly corrected myself and said "program," he laughed and said, "it is a franchise nowadays." With his growing list of endorsement deals, Quinn is quickly turning into a franchise himself.
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