2010 Heisman Hopefuls: Kyle Padron, QB, SMU

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2010 Heisman Hopefuls: Kyle Padron, QB, SMU
There is nothing that says ‘shower me with accolades’ quite like bringing a school from the depths of despair back to respectability all in one season. In Kyle Padron’s case, it would be more like half a season.
The SMU Mustangs have been the doormat of the NCAA division I ever since they were given the death penalty by the NCAA back in the late 1980s. Football became solely an intramural game during the 1987 and 1988 seasons. When it tried to start back up in 1989, it faced a long, difficult road back to respectability.
No one would have thought that it would take more than 20 years to get there, but it did. The first step in that direction was when the school was able to convince June Jones to come back to the mainland after nearly a decade in Hawaii. The second could very well be the decision to give a local player without a whole lot of experience named Kyle Padron a scholarship. Little did they know what they had in the native Texan from Southlake.
High School
Most college stars start off as high school stars; such was not the case for young Kyle Padron. The quarterback for Southlake Carrol did not have a lot of experience on the field yet when he got the offer from June Jones and the SMU Mustangs.
He got his chance to lead the team when starter Riley Dodge was injured in 2007 playing Abilene. Padron had his share of growing pains that year, but with his 6’4” 200 pound frame the team was confident he could do great things.
As a senior he got the chance to start and did well with the time he had before going down with an injury himself. In the time he had, he showed that he does have the intelligence and athletic ability to play the game at a high level. On the season he would end up passing the ball 193 times and completing 129 (for a completion percentage of 66.8%), amassed 1550 yards passing, and threw 18 touchdowns with only three interceptions.
With not much time on the field at the high school level it was Padron’s performance at SMU’s quarterback camp that did the trick for him. Jones and his staff must have seen something they liked since they offered him a scholarship.
Padron got the job at SMU much like he got it at Southlake. Carrol, the starter went down with an injury. When he got his chance to shine, Padron certainly wasted no time in proving that he deserved to be there.
In the team’s seventh game of the season he stepped in for Bo Levi Mitchell and did not look back. In relief in that game he ended up going 11 of 16 for 141 yards and one touchdown. The following week against Tulsa he showed Mustang fans something they hope to see a lot of over the next few years, a 354 yard day off a 20-for-30 passing performance with two touchdowns.
He would not end up throwing an interception till his second start, a 31-28 victory over Rice. As a starter he would end up going 5-1, with his only loss coming against Marshall where he went 18 for 32 for 225 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
His real potential would be realized in the team’s first bowl game in 20 years against the Nevada Wolfpack, one of the toughest defenses in the nation. By time the game was over he would shred the Nevada defense for 460 yards and two touchdowns.
For Padron to become a viable Heisman candidate, a few things will need to work in his favor. The SMU Mustangs will need to win and largely off the arm of Padron. It will take a lot of national media attention for the young quarterback to get noticed by voters; they are too accustomed to ignoring SMU football. If it does not happen next season for him, watch out for Padron in 2011!



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