Since there is a proliferation of running backs in college this season, and only a handful of strong-armed quarterbacks, it is safe to assume that Wichard probably will go higher than Campbell in the pro draft. He is a legitimate prospect, perhaps a great one, as the New York Giants found out as early as last July. The Giants hold their preseason training camp on the C.W. Post campus, and last summer Wichard and his good friend, Split End Lenny Izzo, worked there as security guards, complete with blue uniforms and badges. One day, when these two guards were shagging balls for Kicker Pete Gogolak, some of the Giants noticed that one of the security men was throwing the ball farther than Gogolak was kicking it. When it was discovered that the young man was Wichard, he was invited to work out one day with Y.A. Tittle, the old pro who now coaches Giant quarterbacks. After watching Wichard throw, Tittle issued the statement that has been quoted so much around Post that it should be carved in granite at the stadium: "He might have the best arm I've ever seen."
The scouts have been bird-dogging Wichard since Post's opening game (a 24-14 loss to Lehigh), and they have been so persistent that now Wichard feels sort of lonesome when he comes out to practice and there are not a couple of strangers hanging around with stopwatches and notebooks in hand. Usually all the scouts do is drag on cigarettes, make a few notes, ask some questions and disappear. "It's very frustrating," says Wichard, "because they never say much about what your chances are. They just kind of leave you hanging."
Nevertheless, all this attention is exciting for Wichard, his teammates and his coaches, because football at Post is no big thing. The Pioneers play teams like Adelphi and King's Point, and if they get out 3,500 for a home game they think it's a big crowd. Post has no massive stadium, no high-priced coaching staff and not even enough good footballs to use at practice. "No kidding," says Anile. "We have only two that I let my quarterbacks throw. The rest we use for kicking." Also, most of the 11,000 students at Post consider themselves too hip to get turned on by something as irrelevant as football, so Wichard goes largely unrecognized as he slouches around campus with his shirttail hanging out over his dungarees. "Look at him," says Anile, affectionately, "I ask you, does he look like a hero?"
Besides casual mod clothes, Wichard likes parties, hard rock, his steady girl and antique cars. His father, a painting contractor in Great Neck, N.Y., has a collection of about 35 restored automobiles—including such beauties as a '31 La Salle roadster and a '31 Rolls-Royce—that he exhibits in various shows. "He's really into that," says Wichard, "and my brother and I also are pretty interested." What Wichard doesn't like much is to run with a football; naturally his teammates call him Woo Woo.
But otherwise, Wichard seems to have it all—the size, the intelligence, the desire and, mainly, the arm. But will he be able to make it as a pro? Surprisingly enough, most scouts feel that playing at C.W. Post will be less of a disadvantage than people think. "He's getting the experience of running a pro-style attack and calling audibles, stuff like that," said one scout. "That's got to give him an advantage over these major-college quarterbacks who have been playing in the Wishbone. In looking at a kid like this you've got to see whether he dominates. If a kid only holds his own against a team like Ithaca, it's hard to imagine him playing in the NFL. But if he dominates his class, that's something else. And Wichard dominates. Believe me, he dominates."