One on one with Andrew Luck
WTHR Sports Director Dave Calabro sat down with likely #1 NFL draft pick Andrew Luck on Thursday. Here's a first-person report from Dave.
You know I'm an old, jaded sportscaster. I have pretty much met all of the great ones over the past 25 years so it's pretty hard to wow me. But I've got to tell you, Andrew Luck is one amazing kid. That's exactly what he is, a kid. He has a big smile, a warm personality and is totally relaxed with who he is and what he's about. It was obvious he was not out to change himself to impress me or big time corporate people who were there when we talked.
He walked in the room with a big cheesy grin and said "Hey Dave!" We had an immediate bond because Jim Harbaugh, a former Colts quarterback, was one of his coaches. I know Jim, so we had that in common. We had some laughs talking about Jim Harbaugh.
Andrew seems very at ease with what he is about to walk through, what he is about to say about becoming a super star in the NFL. He is very grounded and reminded me of a great, young Peyton Manning that I first met back in 1997.
The other thing I noticed when we were talking - there were about 20 people who watched us doing the interview. They were wearing Colts shirts – pointing at the Colts logo and he laughed. I asked him what he thought about that. He laughed, saying, "I don't know what to think."
Right now Andrew tells me he's focused on the NFL combine and making a good impression on NFL top brass.
We had a great talk – about 20 minutes. I asked him a lot of questions – like what is his greatest achievement, what's his greatest failure, what was it like growing up in Europe, is he a mama's boy and what kind of big brother is he. And a question many of you want to know the answer to - what's his relationship with Peyton Manning?
With the focus on Peyton Manning's recovery from neck surgery, it's hard to get away from the talk and speculation about the Colts quarterback position. Peyton has been cleared to resume his NFL career - but it's still unclear if he can regain the strength he'll need to compete next season.
Luck says he's met Peyton. "His football camp's down in Louisiana and I went as an eighth grader and then in the past two years as a counselor, a college kid, which is great for all the college guys because you get to go and see a bunch of other quarterbacks from around the nation as well as talk to Peyton and Eli and Archie."
Luck says his dad backed Archie up in Houston for a year.
"So they've known each other for a long time. I asked Peyton for some advice when I decided to come back to school for my red shirt junior year. It was a similar situation I was in that he went through. I asked just how to handle certain things that may come up and maybe what was hard about it and things of that nature," said Luck.
When Eyewitness Sports asked him if it was a tough situation to walk into Indianapolis knowing what Peyton's accomplished with the Colts, Luck smiled and said, "I don't know if I'm walking into it quite yet. That's far down the road."
Still, some Colts fans are donning Colts jerseys with Luck's name on the back.
"I guess to each his own," Luck said.
"I am in Indianapolis for the Gatorade function to learn about it and nothing else, really," he said.
He didn't want to say if Indy was his preferred place to land.
"I don't know if I have a top choice, I guess. That's down the road."
His priorities? "Combine. Pro day. Put my best foot forward there. I just want to play football."
He wouldn't mind playing in Lucas Oil Stadium. "It is a beautiful stadium. I know it's a great sports town."
We asked him when he got the idea of playing pro, he said it started at a very young age.
"I feel blessed to have a father who played in the NFL. A lot of kids - well, some, I guess - wanted to be like my Dad and he was a football player so I guess it was natural for me to be a football player."
We asked him what attracted him to architecture as a major.
"Like a lot of kids I really enjoyed playing with Legos growing up and building different things. I guess I'd rather do a math problem set than write a paper so it sort of made sense going to college to maybe just look into it. I took an architecture history class and enjoyed it and decided, why not study architecture? It's a small program at Stanford and you get a lot of one on one teaching. I'm very fortunate to be in the program.