Cougar quarterback shines in lackluster season and becomes a high NFL draft pick
Jormer UH quarterback David
Klingler is well on his way to becoming a
millionaire, or at least he will be before the
next NFL season.
With help from his agent Leigh
Steinberg, Klingler will be among the highest paid players in the league.
It has been obvious for some time
that the former Cougar quarterback would
be drafted in the first round, but that became official when NFL Commissioner Paul
Tagliabue announced to a stunned ESPN
television audience that Klingler was the
Cincinnati Bengals' first choice.
It marked the second time in three
years that the top gen-
"I knew it would be a risk, but it Coach John Jenkins and the rest of the
was the right thing to do," said Klingler. UH football allegiance also had to be
"I came back to get my degree, which I estatic with the pick after enduring the
did, and to learn from another year in this Cougar's recent, rocky 4-7 season.
system. The Run-and-Shoot is the best
there is for young quarterbacks."
Klingler's passing prowess got a
boost from several pre-season magazine
articles, including the front cover photo
of Sports Illustrated.
Klingler was the second offensive player
taken in the draft, behind Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard.
The lower you go, the better team
you get on," said Klingler, hoping not to
be thrown in to a low rank team with big-
The story inside included a pas- league problems. "You wouldn't want to
sage about Klingler's freshman year be in a position like Jeff George (India-
where he had thrown a practice pass so napolis Colts #1 in 1990, and an NFL
hard that it split apart the hand of his punching bag), where you get beat up
teammate. "That was when I was trying every play. I had that last year."
Expect Klingler to
"take a back seat to
for a couple of
years before taking the reins.
"This is the perfect situation, he's
a great player. It
M1 he linebacker had dropped into pass
coverage, and he was 25 yards away. He put
his hand up to try to intercept the pass, and
the ball just split his hand in two. Exploded
it." -Quarterback David Klingler
eral in the college ranks~|
hailed from the run- I
Andre Ware was ■
picked seventh by the fti
Detroit Lions in 1990. fJ
Ware's place in 1990, !j|
Klingler went on to
become the most
talked-about quarterback in Houston his- to throw everything as hard as I could," will be a great opportunity to learn from
tory. Klingler said. one of the best players in the game."
Although he put on an incredible "The linebacker had dropped into "I'd love to play right away," said
show in '90, all the stats and figures and pass coverage, and by the time I was set Klingler. "But there's a lot less pressure
points scored didn't impress the voters for up to throw, he was 25 yards away. He this way."
the Heisman Trophy, in fact the 'running- put his hand up to try to intercept the The Bengals also have back-up
up-the-score-and-shoot' turned many of pass, and the ball just split his hand in quaterback Donald Hollis, who played
two. Exploded it." with Rice a couple of years back.
In 1992, because of a weak and Klingler certainly had nothing to
inexperienced offensive line, Klingler was worry about, leaving UH with a degree,
in danger of losing his stature as the top- his wife Kathy, whom he married in Feb-
passed up the draft to stay for his senior ranked quarterback in the nation. But he ruary, and a large contract awaiting him
year, despite leading the nation in passing rose to the occasion with courage and with the Bengals, but his new teammates
yards and breaking or tying 33 NCAA strength, something NFL scouts said they might want to watch their hands.-Keith
records, including many of Ware's. liked most about him. Rollins & Michael Edwards
Although he stayed, looking to find By the end of his senior season,
a national title, Klingler's most talked about Klingler had eclipsed 54 NCAA records
statistic in f91 was the 43 sacks he had to and proved himself ready for the pros,
endure, and coming in fifth again in the It was certainly a dream come
Heisman race. true for Klingler and his family. Head
them off. Klingler was the top performer in
clooege football, but ended up fifth behind
Heisman winner Ty Detmer.
He took his chances in 1991 and
Other Cougars taken in the draft: Linebacker
Glen Cadrez (New York Jets), wide receiver John Brown
III (Chicago Bears), running back Ostell Miles (Cincinnati Bengals), and offensive lineman Mike Gisler (New