We've got a category called "People We Love," which is sadly underpopulated thanks to neglect and, well, just forgetting it's there, actually. But the recent induction of the unheralded, neglected pair of coaches Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno to the College Football Hall of Fame got us to thinking: perhaps there should be an alternate Hall of Fame for players with too much style and not enough national television exposure to make it into the "real" Hall. We're starting our own, then, with the first inductee being an old-school EDSBS fave: the sweaty masterpiece of Bayou gunslingerdom, Rohan Davey of LSU.
We sing a song to thee, Rohan.
REASONS YOU SHOULD LOVE ROHAN DAVEY.
1. His improbable physique. Davey resembled the physically impossible video game make-a-quarterback you dialed up strictly to watch move across the screen, usually to the sound of thunderous laughter. His huge, barrel shaped torso, accented with bulky flak jacket padding; two yard and a half long arms with immense hands brushing the knees; a ginormous head with a helmet that never seemed to slide all the way down around the noggin, just sitting on his oblong head like a laquered beanie; two ostrich-thin legs that pinwheeled in an odd, mincing gait. Rohan Davey scrambling looked like a horde of jackals chasing a yellow and purple ostrich around the field, with the flailing exposed legs making orthopedic surgeons wince in the stands at the idea of so much bulk resting on so little support.
He looked funny, is what we're saying. And that, in our HOF, is a good thing.
His twitchy, middle aged demeanor. Rohan looked less like a twenty-year old athlete and more like a nervous, fifty-year old caffeine-addled traffic cop stuck in a rush hour intersection without his whistle. He appeared to be in pain whenever he moved, even in the act of raising a cup of Gatorade to his mouth on the sidelines. He fiddled with his hand towel, licked his fingers, and then repeated the whole cycle several times before each snap; the amount of lime he consumed in college would have killed lesser men. If you've ever played football with your grandfather at qb, that's the pre-snap vibe Rohan gave off: one play from bending the wrong way and rupturing every disk, ligament, tendon, and membrane in his body. The walk followed suit, a pained, glass-in-the-shoes hobble he jacked straight from Redd Foxx.
Walked like this guy.
He sweat like an old man, too. Even when it was cold Rohan Davey looked like he had just walked through a car wash. (This probably explains the constant towel-fiddling and subsequent lime consumption.) Rohan's center probably felt like he played his collegiate career in India with the constant monsoon raining down on him from Davey's perpetually weeping forehead.
He got killed. Frequently. LSU's line--remember, early Saban years here--wasn't the boudin-fed bulwark it was today. Davey got hammered, and like many of the qbs we'll put on our list, had zero ability to sense, see, predict, or avoid said hammerings. Sometimes he seemed to walk directly into them, like a blind man stumbling headlong down an onramp to I-75. Davey never lacked theatrical flourish on them, either; if we ran Mythbusters we'd call our crash dummy "Rohan," since he displayed Buster-like flair in flailing, windmilling, and letting the stress of impact from a linebacker whip all four of his lanky limbs around in a cartoonish mess.
Davey took hits like Dave Ragone (seen pictured above.)
He was pretty good. Davey is still the only LSU qb to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a season, and he did it hard, hard, hard; Davey threw the ball effortlessly at speeds that made receivers weep, especially on post patterns. He was the qb for much of the season of LSU's first SEC championship under Saban, missing two games (Florida and the SEC championship) after taking jailhouse beatings behind the line. Davey adored the long ball and always threw deep if he could, occasionally doing so even when he couldn't and shouldn't have, which earns him points with us. The fact that he sometimes flattened checkdown receivers with passes also earns points.
He was named Rohan.