How Keenum defied the odds
My affinity for the quarterback ties back to personally attending the University of Houston as a freshman undergraduate student. Former Houston Cougars‘ quarterback Keenum—whom I have never met—grew up a world away from Houston in several small west Texas towns, further out from America’s fourth largest city than even the French Quarter of New Orleans.
There was something about former Houston Cougars‘ quarterback Keenum that defied conventional wisdom. At 6-1, 210 pounds, he was barely big enough not to be considered an undersized NFL prospect, but he only received one scholarship offer. And with that accepted scholarship from the University of Houston, he just kept threading the needle with his right arm, amassing gaudy numbers, and winning games his UH football teams—according to multiple experts—weren’t supposed to be that competitive in.
Eerily, when his collegiate career came to its natural end in 2011, the only thing the all-time leader in completions, yards through the air, and touchdowns thrown in NCAA Division I FBS history did more than pass, was get passed by. The undrafted free agent was barely allowed near active roster NFL athletes via one singular invitation to join on as a practice player.
He could have walked away from football, but Keenum elected to spend all of 2012 on an NFL scout team. Nothing was given to him. It wouldn’t be until the following season that he would ever take an NFL snap.