RFL Vault: The RFL And The Rookie QB
Usually in other leagues rookie quarterbacks rarely make the playoffs and if they do, it's because they were drafted into a good situation. In the RFL however, 2 out of the 3 championship games were won by rookie quarterbacks and the one that wasn't, had one playing in the bowl that year.
The season 1 playoffs had 2 rookies in it, ROTY Russell Renes on the Aviators and one of the runner ups in Timmy Merritt on the Bulldogs. The Aviators upset the Bisons in the wildcard but lost to the Celtic Tigers the next week, while the Timmy Merritt led Bulldogs went on to beat the Celtic Tigers and win the first Relocation Bowl.
Season 2 was no different as it featured 4 rookie quarterbacks in the playoffs. ROTY Chase McCoy on the Condors, Chum Lee on the Diablos, Ben Wakefield on the Crusaders, and Leonard Corbin III (LC3) on the Thunderbirds. Chase McCoy and the Condors loss to the Diablos and Chum Lee and the Thunderbirds beat the Crusaders who were without Wakefield due to injury. The Diablos then beat LC3 and the Thunderbirds in the NFC Championship, thus putting a rookie QB in the Relocation Bowl for the 2nd year in a row. Chum Lee came up short but impressive for a rookie leading your team to the championship game.
Then in the season 3 Playoffs there was 3 teams with first year signal callers. Marshalls had Travis Fraser Jr the runner up for ROTY. Sentinels had un-drafted rookie sensation Trey Allen and the Thunderbirds had 7th round pick Kyle Bane who took over for the injured LC3. The Marshalls led by Travis Fraser Jr. beat the Condors but came up short against the Kyle Bane led Thunderbirds. Trey Allen beat the Black Knights And River Hogs, pushing the Sentinels into the Championship game. Kyle Bane got the Thunderbirds to the Relocation Bowl as well, which put 2 rookie quarterbacks against eachother that year for the first time.
Through the 3 seasons worth of playoff games and championships there have been 9 rookie quarterbacks to make it, 4 of them to make it to the championship and 2 of them to win it. Rookies often get overlooked in football because of the learning curve associated with the leap into the pros. Quarterback is no differet if not even more scrutinized, what does the future hold for the position? Will young guns rule the land? Will the former rookies continue the success they found early on? I guess we will have to just keep watching to find out those answers.
Written By: Justin Jones