Oct. 18, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The phrase "Cradle of Quarterbacks" might suggest these golden boys have it easier than most.
Kyle Orton smashed this notion by playing his position with the toughness exhibited at any other on the field, a toughness that could be appreciated by any athlete in any sport.
He amassed impressive numbers, passing for 9,337 yards and 63 touchdowns (both fourth all-time at Purdue) and setting the school record for lowest interception rate. By starting four consecutive bowl games, he achieved a distinction equaled by only 12 quarterbacks in college football history before him.
But it was during the Capital One Bowl against Georgia at the end of his junior year that Orton set himself apart as a Boilermaker, and a warrior. He completed 20 of 34 for 230 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for two touchdowns. The final score tilted in Georgia's favor, but what the scoreboard didn't show was that Orton had played with a dislocated thumb, a sprained toe and a cracked rib - and refused to let up.
Orton has extended his reputation for toughness in the NFL, playing for the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos.
Orton will be recognized in absentia during Purdue's Nov. 6 home game vs. Wisconsin, and he is scheduled to be recognized with an on-field presentation during Purdue's Black & Gold Game in April of 2011.
In recognition of its "Cradle of Quarterbacks" heritage and with help from thousands of on-line voters this spring, Purdue's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, in conjunction with "Gold & Black Illustrated" and the Office of Trademark Licensing, has selected Purdue's top 12 quarterbacks of all-time from a list of 31 multiple-time starters.
A different quarterback will be highlighted each week during the 2010 season. Several will appear on campus during the fall and will be honored at President's Council pregame programs and during games.