Oct. 1, 2008
When Drew Weatherford was growing up, he wrote a paper for school stating how much he loved being a part of his family because, as one of nine children, he was never bored. He was in constant motion, there was a flurry of action everywhere and he didn’t have to go far to find some sort of athletic competition in which to take part in.
But, with two older brothers, he faced an up-hill battle against his older, more athletic siblings. He competed as hard as he could against the bigger, and at the time, more talented boys, and wondered when it would be his time to have the ball in his hands. With all of the sports he and his brothers played in the back yard of their home in Land O’ Lakes, it didn’t matter what type of ball it was; it simply mattered that he was able to get his hands on that ball and compete with his brothers.
In Weatherford’s mind that time came when he was about eight years old. That’s when he announced
to his mother that he was going to be a quarterback at Florida State.
Growing up in a football-dominated household and announcing at such a young age that he was going to play football in college came as no surprise. His father, Bill, was a quarterback at SMU, his oldest brother, Will, was a defensive end at Jacksonville, and another brother, Sam, played offensive tackle at Fordham. The youngest Weatherford brother, Joe, is currently a redshirt freshman quarterback at UCF.
“I always wanted to be in the middle of the action with my brothers,” said Weatherford who begins his senior season for the Seminoles against Western Carolina. “It was frustrating because my brothers were so much bigger than me and they thought it was funny to put me in the middle and do all they could do to keep the ball away from me.”
His mom, Cathy, remembers vividly the day he dragged her out into the backyard and announced his intentions to become a Seminole. “Andrew always looked so dejected when he couldn’t get the ball away from his brothers,” she said. “I am sure that is where his leadership ability and character development began. As a child he always wanted to be a leader so when he announced his intentions at such a young age I was completely confident that he would reach his goals.”
As the third oldest in the family of nine, Drew credits much of where he is today to his family and the values that he was raised on from such a young age. “I owe everything I have to my mom, my dad and my bothers and sisters,” said Weatherford. “I didn’t know it then but the values they all taught me while I was growing up prepared me for many of the challenges I face today. My mom and dad instilled in me all of the values that I still live by today. They taught me to persevere, be strong and never quit on anything I began. I believe my parents made me the person I am today.”
The person he is today is a member of the ACC All-Academic football team who will earn his degree in finance in December. He is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. He is on the Davey O’Brien Award Watch List as the nation’s top collegiate quarterback.
Weatherford is also poised to become one of the top rated quarterbacks in Florida State history. He enters the 2008 season ranked third in school history in career passing yards with 7,411 yards, second in attempts, second in completions and tied for third with nine career 300-yad passing games. In addition he is seventh in school history in completion percentage with a .574 mark and tied for eighth in career touchdown passes. Weatherford begins the season as active ACC leader in total offense (7,474 yards), passing yards (7,411 yards) and passing touchdowns (39) and ranks in the 16th in ACC history with 7,411 career passing yards and 18th in career total offensive yards (7,474 career yards).
“I am really excited about this season and the things I am going to be able to experience with my teammates,” said Weatherford. “It’s not about the records, it’s about the relationships and the way I am able to accomplish the goals I set for myself when I was growing up.
“The things that I will look back upon when my football career at Florida State is over are the things that I learned growing up. I am going to think about competing like I was raised to compete; treating my teammates and classmates like I was taught to by my father, mother and bothers and sisters.”
As one of the few four-year starting quarterbacks in the history of the Florida State football program, Weatherford embodies many of the qualities his parents have worked so hard to instill in him throughout his life.
“One of the things I dedicated myself to as a mother was to help my children develop good character and become good leaders,” said Cathy Weatherford. “When I look at the person Drew has become, the ideals he holds important and the challenges that he has successfully climbed, I am happy with the man he has developed into. As a mother, I am happy with the people that all of my children have become.”
Seminole head coach Bobby Bowden agrees. “In the four years that I have known Drew, his character has been unquestioned,” said Bowden. “If all of your players behaved themselves and carried out their responsibilities like he did, it would make coaching mighty easy.”
Drew Weatherford is still right where he wants to be – in the middle of it all – but he has learned to be successful with the ball in his hands during his Seminole career.
by Chuck Walsh Associate Sports Information Director