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Such a narrow-mindedness means the best players of 1985 will be left to go fish. They include:
•Vinnie Testaverde of 9-1 Miami, a junior quarterback who has lifted the Hurricanes into contention for the national championship. He would still be playing behind Bernie Somebody if Bernie hadn't jumped to the pros. Sorry, no second-stringers.
•Brian McClure of 11-0 Bowling Green, a senior quarterback who not only joined Doug Flutie as the second Division I player ever to pass for more than 10,000 yards but also, at 6'7", could use Flutie for a Water Pic. Sorry, MAC.
•John (Perfect) Lee of 8-2-1 UCLA, a senior who went 11 games and 23 field goals without missing. He's the most accurate field goal kicker in NCAA history. Sorry, no soccer types.
•Lorenzo White (Michigan State), who gained more yards—1,908—than any sophomore in NCAA history. The only players of any class to run for more yards: Marcus Allen in '81, Mike Rozier in '83 and Tony Dorsett in '76. Sorry, no sophs.
•Not to mention: Bart Weiss, who ran an elegant Air Force flexbone to near perfection; Rhode Island quarterback Tom Ehrhardt, who threw eight TD passes in one game and 35 altogether; Michigan defensive tackle Mike Hammerstein, who made running his way as fashionable as wearing Nehru jackets. Sorry, never heard of you.
Ah, well, Walter Payton didn't win it either, and he held the NCAA record for touchdowns for 11 years. Who broke it you say? Why, Dudek. He's our pick for the Heisman Trophy. Good seats are still available on the bandwagon.
For starters, Dudek has broken every touchdown record known to man in his four years at Plymouth State in Plymouth, N.H. His 79 career touchdowns broke the NCAA record of 66 that Payton set at Jackson State, and the NAIA mark of 77 that Wilbert Montgomery established at Abilene Christian from 1973 to '76. Dudek has rushed for a Division III (yes, III) record 5,570 yards at Plymouth, which has gone 37-6 since he arrived. Many NFL teams have sent scouts to see him play. Somebody must think he's good. Dudek will appear in the Japan Bowl at the end of the year. He'll join a couple of unknowns—Allen Pinkett of Notre Dame and Jackson. Get your autograph, Joe?
Then there's that name. It's marketable. In New Hampshire, they call Dudek Mr. Touchdown. No, no, no. Try the Plymouth Fury. And the kicker headline: HE'S DRIVEN. And the slogans! What voter's bumper could resist GIVE THE DU HIS DUE or WHAT THE HECK, VOTE DU-DEK.
What the heck? Take a breath of fresh air. Plymouth has no training table, no athletic dorm, no redshirts and no slush funds. There, players shake a man's hand without expecting to find a $20 bill for their trouble. Dudek has taken out a $2,500 student loan all four years and admits he's "loaned out." To make ends meet, he often takes odd jobs, including cleaning up the stadium on Sundays after cleaning up on the field on Saturdays. "It doesn't pay much," says Dudek. "Minimum wage."