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|Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:06 am Post subject: You want stories, right?" Steve Keenum asked over the p
|It was Christmastime 1999, and the Keenums were heavily involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Steve and his wife, Susan -- former athletes at McMurry University in Abilene, where Steve was later the head football coach -- decided to spend the holidays with family members who were doing missionary work in Costa Rica. They were on a boat ride down the Colorado River, a tributary near the Nicaraguan border, when an 11-year-old Case decided to kick the adventure into a higher gear as he watched his uncle pull his older cousin on a boogie board behind Ian Desmond Youth jersey the boat.
"My son looked at me and asked, 'Can I do that?'" Steve recalled. Steve had seen some crocodiles on the banks of the river. He also knew the flow of the river could be unpredictable and potentially dangerous to a boy putting a higher premium on fun than safety. "But http://www.officialravensproshoponline.com/Justin-Tucker-Jersey I told my wife that I'm going to let him do it," Steve said. "I didn't want him to be afraid of anything, and he did it. ... If he wanted to try something that involved risk, I wanted him to feel he could do it and not shy away from it."
Case Keenum always preferred to lead with his chin. As an eighth-grader, he was running the anchor leg on a Wylie relay team in a race that would determine the winner of the district meet. "I remember getting the baton in third or fourth place, and I was going to catch the guy in front of me no matter what," Keenum said. "I was being ultracompetitive because that's just who I am."
Watching that day was Hugh Sandifer, then the head football coach of the varsity team at Wylie. He knew about Keenum, and figured someday the middle schooler would start for him. But Sandifer had no idea what he'd be getting until Keenum dove face-first across the finish line to win the district title for his team at the expense of his skinned-up elbows and knees. "He just flat dove like Superman," Sandifer said. "It was insane. You just don't see people dive at the finish line. I think we knew then that he was going to be special."
Football would be his game, and his right arm would be his weapon of choice. Steve had made his living coaching high school and small college ball, and he helped strengthen that right arm when he was working at McMurry, where a young Case would follow his dad from the locker room to the weight room to the field wanting to be a ballboy. Steve had a rule for his son: You can't be a ballboy until you can throw a college-size ball from the sideline to the hash mark where the officials usually stood. Case kept http://www.officialredwingsauthentic.com/authentic-93-johan-franzen-jersey.html practicing that throw, and at age 10, his arm proved reliable enough for the job.
Keenum started for Sandifer's varsity team as a sophomore and led the Bulldogs to the Class 3A Division I state title game as a junior in 2004. Down a touchdown in the fourth quarter to a favored 14-0 Cuero High School, Keenum found his tight end, Josh Archer, for the tying score, then made the signature play of his Wylie career: On third-and-11 at the Cuero 48-yard line Authentic Teddy Bridgewater Jersey with less than a minute to play, Keenum escaped pressure and ran 39 yards to set up the game-winning field goal. "If I had been able to hold my block better, he would've made it all the way in," Archer said. Wylie football had never won a state title until Keenum showed up, and hasn't won another since.
Keenum lost his chance at a second championship as a senior while playing his final game in Texas Stadium, which was still home to the Dallas Cowboys. He threw for a touchdown and ran for two more in the quarterfinals, including a 38-yarder punctuated by a prototypical Keenum dive and, http://www.authenticcanadiens.com/dickie-moore-jersey_c-480.html unfortunately, an injured right shoulder. Sandifer wanted to take Keenum out of the game, but the quarterback wouldn't allow it. Down 25-22 on the last possession, Keenum heaved a 50-yard pass into the end zone that was dropped. They learned after that Keenum had unloaded the pass with a separated shoulder.
The Josh Martin Youth jersey big-time schools still didn't want him. Sandifer has been at Wylie 39 years (32 as head coach), and Keenum's is a recruiting mystery the coach still can't solve. Sandifer told coaches all about Keenum's crazy numbers and relentless heart, but they couldn't get past the fact Keenum was only 6-1.
"They kept talking about height and arm strength, and some of them would bring up speed," Sandifer said. "My response was always: 'I don't know what the 40 times are of the guys chasing him, but he's always a half-step ahead of them.'" Art Briles of the University of Houston was the only Division I coach to offer Keenum a full ride.
Kevin Sumlin came in after Briles left for Baylor and installed a freewheeling, no-huddling offense that made Keenum the point guard on a perpetual fast break. He loved it -- he had complete control of the offense and the authority to check to whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. He tore up his knee in what would have been his senior season, then returned on a redshirt in 2011 to throw 48 touchdown passes and just five interceptions while clearing 5,600 yards for the second time. Houston went 12-1, beat Penn State in a bowl game and then waited for Keenum, the most prolific passer in major college history, to get drafted. He finished his career with a record 155 touchdown passes and 19,217 passing yards -- more than 2,000 yards better than the second-place quarterback on the FBS all-time list, Hawaii's Timmy Chang.
Keenum figured some team might pick him in the middle or late rounds. He didn't arrange for a lavish party. He watched the later part of the draft at a cousin's house, and wasn't terribly disappointed when his name wasn't called. Like his parents Womens Tyler Eifert Jersey and two sisters, Keenum was active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and thought God had a plan for him. "You take a look back at some tough parts of your life," Keenum said, "just bad things that have happened, they tend to build your character and make you who you are."