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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student


IU quarterback named 1st-team All-American

All senior quarterback Antwaan Randle El went out for was a late-night snack. He ended up with three extra passengers. It was rainy and cold, and on the sidewalk three students were huddled together, trying to make it home in the dark. \nRandle El stopped and offered these three strangers a ride home.\nThis is IU's and college football's most exciting player, and Tuesday, he was rewarded as the nation's first-team All-American quarterback by the Football Writers Association of America.\nAll he got for the three pairs of muddy feet in his car were some "Thank you's."\n"I've never met anyone like him, but that's what makes him special," senior linebacker Justin Smith said. "Once you get to know him, you'll know you'll never meet anyone like him."\nSenior running back Levron Williams, who was recognized earlier this week as a third-team All-American selection by Football News, agrees Randle El is one of a kind.\n"He's a character," Williams said. "He's just a great guy to be around. He's funny. He makes you laugh. He's a comedian. He can also be serious, too. We were roommates, and he kept me in line really just to stay in school. He's grown mentally and physically. There's just something about him."\nRandle El has created headaches for his opponents on the field by his rushing and passing abilities, and the statistics behind him were enough to land him one of football's most prestigious awards.\nIn 43 career games, Randle El has passed for 7,275 yards and rushed for another 3,852. No other player in Division 1-A football has thrown for more than 6,000 yards and rushed for 3,000 yards.\n"I just feel like I've done enough in my career," Randle El said. "I'm just thankful. I thank God. I thank the writers. I thank everyone. Now I feel my work at IU hasn't gone unnoticed."\nMaybe Randle El felt his on the field performances have been overlooked, but his manner off the field has left a trail of admirers.\nJust ask the three people he gave a ride home. Or ask the little boy at Penn State, who got the thrill of his life when Randle El stopped during his pre-game routine to give him a ball and clown around with him.\nThe day after IU played the Nittany Lions, there was a message on the Nittany Lion fan Web site, praising Randle El. But it wasn't about his 379 total-yard performance, it was from the boy's father who said Randle El had two fans for life. \n"When I first came in here I didn't know how he was going to be," senior wide receiver Henry Frazier said. "He was leading in all these IU categories, so I thought he was going to be stuck up and everything. But he's humble. He's real humble, and not stuck up at all. He's just a great person. He's great to anybody."\nHis talents have not been missed by the teams he's played against either. Illinois coach Kirk Ferentz said he would like someone to show him a better quarterback than Randle El. Michigan State coach Bobby Williams said Randle El is the most exciting player he's seen. \nGifted. Talented. Exciting. But this multi-threat athlete has a lesser-known side. Six months ago, Randle El and his fiance became parents to a little girl, Ciara Lanise Randle El.\n"It's really opened my eyes," Randle El said. "I was there when she was born and it was the greatest thing. I see her as much as I can."\nRandle El plans to get married a year from now, when he's hopes to be fulfilling the first step of his well-planned out future.\nThe first step is getting drafted high, the team doesn't matter just as long as he can play quarterback, although the Chicago-area native would like a shot with the Bears.\n"I've been at quarterback forever, even when playing backyard football," Randle El said. "The first time I tried out, I was told I was going to be a great player, then I got all the way to the final cut, and it turned out I was too young. I was a seven year-old trying out with eight year-olds."\nWhen he did get to play, Randle El started frustrating players at a young age. While still in Pop Warner, he and his teammates were beating a team so bad they quit in the fourth quarter. In high school, he lost only seven games in his four-year career.\nAnd now in his collegiate career, his yardage numbers puts him in the top-15 of various lists -- including a sixth place rank on the all-time NCAA Division I-A total yardage list with 11,127 yards. He is 12th in the Big Ten career passing yardage list and 14th on the Big Ten\'s career rushing yardage list -- as a quarterback. \n"If you didn't have to have a winning record, he'd be the Heisman winner this year," Williams said. "There is no doubt in my mind, because he's done so much. In my mind he is the Heisman winner, because of all he has done for this program"

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