Taylor's Thoughts: Andre Woodson

Five years ago, University of Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm was touted as the best prep quarterback in the state of Kentucky. He was named Mr. Football and garnered much of the praise throughout the state, with plenty of good reason.

Brohm has lived up to the hype in college, but his overall professional stock has plunged over the past two years, because he has remained on an even keel. Brohm hasn't regressed, but he hasn't grown by leaps and bounds, either.

Part of the blame could be Brohm's decision not to declare for the NFL Draft following his junior campaign.

As a college player, Brohm is seemingly the same quarterback he was then as he is now.

At the time, there was an outside chance that Kentucky would land Brohm's services, despite the fact that Brohm's brother Jeff was an assistant coach at Louisville.

Instead of Brohm, Kentucky inked Andre Woodson, a player who performed in the shadows of Brohm during most of his prep career.

Brohm was an established quarterback. Woodson was considered more of a project at the time, which gave him more room to grow.

Woodson's career was at the crossroads following his sophomore season two years ago. Coming into fall workouts, Woodson was in a battle with Curtis Pulley to retain his starting job. In the end, Woodson won the job, but barely. When push came to shove, Woodson responded and Kentucky has reaped the benefits during the past two years.

Since going from a possible backup to a full blossomed star in the collegiate ranks, Woodson's professional value has shot through the roof.

He has signaled Kentucky to back-to-back bowl wins in the last two years and led the team to an upset over LSU, which will be playing in the national championship in a matter of a few days. His name also was mentioned as one of the early contenders for the prestigious Heisman Trophy award.

"Andre made a major transition after the spring of his sophomore year when we opened up the job," Kentucky football coach Rich Brooks said. "That's when Randy Sanders came into the equation and between him and coach (Joker) Phillips, the transition (was) almost remarkable. He has always had the ability, but when he became a student of the game and understood what goes on out there on the field with all of the defensive adjustments, you have no idea how many bad plays he has gotten us out of in the last two years and gotten us into good plays."

It's even possible that Woodson could go higher than Brohm in the NFL Draft. Both players will be chosen in the draft, but Woodson clearly has momentum, because of his growth during the past two seasons.

Brooks, a former NFL coach with the St. Louis Rams, says Woodson has all the tools necessary to become one of the premier players at the next level.

"He's got an NFL body, an NFL arm and he clearly has an NFL mind," Brooks said.

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