EIU's Jimmy Garoppolo Has Been Invited to NFL Combine
Published on February 10 2014 2:29 pm
Last Updated on February 10 2014 2:29 pm
Written by Millie Lange
INDIANAPOLIS – Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been invited to the NFL Combine which will take place in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium from February 22-25. Garoppolo was one of four Ohio Valley Conference players to receive an invitation to the NFL Combine.
EIU finished the year with a 12-2 record advancing to the FCS playoff quarterfinals. EIU was ranked No. 4 in the final FCS polls.
This postseason Garoppolo has also been named the Walter Payton Award winner (given to the top player in the FCS by the Sports Network), the FCS ADA National Offensive Player of the Year, the FCS ADA National Quarterback of the Year Award, the CFPA FCS Quarterback of the Year and also been named an All-American by the Associated Press, AFCA, Sports Network and Walter Camp organizations. Garoppolo put together the finest season by an OVC quarterback in smashing virtually every OVC season and career record while leading his team to a 12-2 overall record, second-straight OVC Championship and berth in the FCS Playoff quarterfinals. In 14 games he completed 375-of-568 passes (66.0%) for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns (against only nine interceptions) while also rushing for four touchdowns and catching a touchdown pass. His 53 touchdowns were the fourth-most in FCS history (three behind the record) while his 5,050 yards is second all-time, just 26 behind the record set a year ago; he is one of just two players in FCS history to eclipse 5,000 passing yards in a season. In FCS career history his 118 touchdowns rank sixth, his 13,156 passing yards are seventh and his 13,089 yards of total offense ranks 10th. Garoppolo also ranked first nationally this season in passing yards/game (360.7), second in points responsible for/game (25.3), third in total offense (365.1 yards/game), third in passing efficiency (168.3) and fifth in completions/game (26.79). He directed Eastern Illinois to the No. 1 ranked offense nationally in terms of both total offense (589.5 yards/game) and scoring offense (48.2 points/game). He and teammate Shepard Little became the first FCS duo to every throw for 5,000-plus yards in a season and rush for 1,000-plus yards (Little ran 1,548 yards) in the same season. Garoppolo, who was named the OVC Offensive Player of the Year, put up the stellar numbers despite the fact his team won games by an average margin of 30.8 points/contest and he was often taken out in the second half of games when his team had huge leads (25 of his 53 touchdowns came in the first quarter and 37 were in the first half this season), Garoppolo threw for 400 or more yards in five contests, including a season-high 480 yards (to go along with seven touchdowns) in a victory over rival Illinois State. In six other games he had over 300 yards passing and he threw multiple touchdowns in all but one game this season. He played some of his best games against Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams, including 361 yards and three touchdowns in a 40-19 win over San Diego State and 450 yards and six touchdowns in a four-point loss at nationally-ranked foe Northern Illinois (in a game EIU led 20-0 in the first quarter). Garoppolo was named FCS National Player of the Week three times during the season and OVC Player of the Week a record-tying seven times (bringing his career total to nine, which also tied the OVC all-time mark).