Rookie Spotlight: DeAndre Wilkins Jr.
DeAndre Wilkins Jr. was at one point touted as the surefire 1st overall pick heading into the season 4 RFL Draft. Which was understandable considering how easy he made college football look during his four seasons at Arizona State University. So when the 1st round of the RFL Draft came, everyone was shocked as they watched him fall down out of the top 10... then out of the top 20... then finally out of the first round completely.
Some say it was the crazy trades that took place at the top of the draft that started his demise, which could have led to the back end GM's getting worried that there was something they didnt know and deciding to pass on him as well. When you look at the rookie QB's that went in the 1st round it certainly seems that many passed on the chance to have a bonafide star join their franchise. Justin Jones went 3rd overall to the Celtic Tigers where he sits behind Dre Crowell, while George McCafton went 25th to the Pioneers where he is currently the starter and also ranked 2nd in the RFL for most interceptions.
The Sentinels on the other hand knew that DeAndre was a great QB and they decided to bring him on board with the 33rd pick in the RFL Draft even though they were in no need of a QB at the time. Head Coach Tor Armstrong spoke to reporters after the 2nd day of the draft and had the following to say, "We werent paying attention to him when we had our 1st round pick because we didnt have any plans on him being available there. Once we wrapped for the night and we saw that he was still on the board... we didnt even have to talk about it, we knew we were taking him right then and there."
Since making that decision Coach Armstrong has not been disappointed. DeAndre is currently one of the best QBs in the RFL through his first 9 games. Posting 2,642 yards with 17 touchdowns and a passer rating of 109.6, the craziest part about those stats is the fact that he is also completing 68% of his passes. He is the first rookie to ever be in the running for MVP of the league and he is definitely worthy of that title with the way he has led the Sentinels to a 7-2 record so far this season. Time will tell if he will continue to dominate the field in the RFL, but i believe that the most dangerous man is the one with the biggest chip on his shoulder.. and DeAndre certainly fits that description.
Written By: Bill Nicholson