The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Pro Sports

September 12, 2013

Luck, Tannehill are brothers in arms

(Continued)

Tannehill was a star in Big Spring, while Luck made his name in Houston. Other current NFL starters with ties to the Lone Star state include New Orleans' Drew Brees, Detroit's Matthew Stafford and Washington's Robert Griffin III.

"Well, there's a lot of people playing, and that helps," Tannehill said of the surge of signal-callers from his home state. "It's a large state with a lot of guys playing so the pool size helps. But I think the seven-on-seven in the summer is the biggest thing. It's so big right now. Almost every high school is running a spread offense or a version of spread offense. So kids are getting a lot of throws, and they're playing year-round due to seven-on-seven."

The benefits of those repetitions were on display last year at Lucas Oil Stadium when Luck's Colts outlasted Tannehill's Dolphins 23-20 on Nov. 4.

Tannehill played a terrific game, completing 22 of 38 passes for 290 yards and one touchdown. But Luck was even better, finishing 30-of-48 for a rookie record 433 yards and two scores. Neither quarterback turned the ball over.

It could be the start of a career-long rivalry, and the rematch is set for Sunday in the Circle City. But the players themselves are friendly.

Luck first met Tannehill at the Manning Passing Academy during the summer before their final college season in 2011, and some of his high school teammates played with the quarterback at Texas A&M.

The players seem destined to be linked together in their pro careers through their status as members of the Great Quarterback Class of 2012. But Luck resists labeling the pair as rivals.

"It is a bit of a fraternity," he said. "I know fans and media love to have those subplots and create a little more of that dynamic than is there. I have a lot of respect for Ryan."

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