Friedgen pops a tape of last season's Gator Bowl into the video machine and grabs his laser pointer. On Hamilton's first pass of the second half, he takes a five-step drop and dumps the ball over the middle to Charlie Rogers for a 10-yard gain. "A lot of college passers don't get off looking at the first or second receiver," Friedgen says. "Joe's on the third receiver by the fifth step." In other words that was an NFL-type completion.
Friedgen spent five seasons with the San Diego Chargers, from 1992 through '96, the last three as their offensive coordinator. He knows what an NFL quarterback must do to succeed. "He deserves a shot," Friedgen says of Hamilton. "If he were 6'3", there would be no doubt. Joe Montana was about 6 feet. But Joe's being 5'10" is a big hurdle. There's a trend toward more mobile quarterbacks. If you get a quarterback who can't evade anybody to make plays, whether he's 5'10" or 6'5", he's not going to last in that league. They're not happy just with sacks in the NFL—they want to hurt you. Kind of like Florida State."
Friedgen laughs at his joke, but the fact that Hamilton dominated the Seminoles defense may help him convince NFL scouts that he's for real. It comes as no surprise that Hamilton's favorite quarterback is Doug Flutie, even if he doesn't come from Alvin.