Purdue University is widely known as the "Cradle of Quarterbacks," having produced the likes of Len Dawson, Bob Griese, Mike Phipps, Mark Herrmann, Drew Brees and Kyle Orton.
The latest in the storied tradition of Purdue signal-callers is Curtis Painter, a fifth-year senior from Vincennes, Ind. Since taking the reigns of the Boilermaker offense midway through the 2005 season, Painter has accumulated statistics that rival those atop the Purdue and Big Ten Conference record books. In fact, he is on pace to snap Brees' career marks for passing attempts, passing yards, total offense and passing efficiency.
A year ago, Painter threw for 3,846 yards, completing 356 passes, and 29 touchdowns, which rank as the fourth-, second- and third-most in a season in school history. He ranked 12th nationally in passing yards per game with 295.9 and 18th in total offense with 294.3. Painter led the Boilermakers to a 51-48 victory in the Motor City Bowl, throwing for a school-record 546 yards (fifth-most in the nation for the season) on 35 of 54 passing with three touchdowns and being named Most Valuable Player of the game against Central Michigan on
In 2008, Painter figures to be a front-runner for the Manning Award (nation's top quarterback), Davey O'Brien Award (nation's outstanding quarterback) and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (nation's top senior quarterback), as well as All-America honors. He also is being touted as a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Curtis' creativity and savvy have propelled him in his academic life, as well, where he is pursuing a degree in computer graphics technology with hopes of becoming a residential construction designer following his football-playing days.