Carson Palmer

Written by Dallas Smith
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To compile a list of the top young quarterbacks playing today, you can't help but include the name of Carson Palmer near the top of the list. Literally emerging from out of nowhere to claim the Heisman Trophy, Palmer exemplifies the spirit of the total college experience, as a player who, through sheer dedication and hard work, elevated himself to the highest level of his position as quarterback of a major college football team. Now, as the first player selected in the 2003 NFL Draft out of USC, Palmer has the opportunity to have as remarkable a professional career as he did in college.

Carson Palmer: A Model of Determination

Despite encountering a number of obstacles during his college career, including a change in offensive coordinators and a broken right collarbone he suffered in '99, Palmer exhibited a rare determination and grit to reach the pinnacle of his sport. The fact that Palmer persevered through these setbacks reveals his fire and fortitude as a competitor, and for this he is the perfect model for any young quarterback today who desires to be considered among the elite quarterbacks at his level. Furthermore, the fact that Palmer showed continual improvement throughout his career at USC is testimony to his outstanding work ethic, and by throwing for a phenomenal 32 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions his final year, by far the best numbers of his career, Palmer proved his dedication to judge each performance solely on how it could be bettered the next time out.

Another way that Carson Palmer revealed his relentless commitment to excellence was by seeking out the best quarterback coaching he could find in addition to what was available to him at USC, and it was in this crucial time outside of practice where Palmer continued to refine his mastery of the fundamentals that enabled him to win college football's highest honor. Here again Palmer provides a model for young quarterbacks everywhere, in that reaching the highest level of performance as he has requires a constant dedication to improve that extends far beyond the practice field. Essentially, to play at the highest level, an aspiring quarterback must also practice at the highest level, among the best players, under the tutelage of the best coaches.

Carson Palmer put himself in a position to compete at the highest level, and because of his tremendous effort to that end, he will now be competing against the best football players in the world in the NFL. Any young quarterback wishing to do the same would be wise to study Palmer's career carefully, to see the exact steps he took to become the 2002 Heisman Trophy Winner and number one pick in the 2003 NFL draft. All things considered, it certainly wouldn't be a bad place to start.

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