Bridgewater says no to Heisman hype

After leading his team to a Sugar Bowl victory last season, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is considered, at the very least, an early candidate in the running to win this year’s Heisman Trophy.

Bovada currently gives the junior 12-1 odds of taking home college football’s most prestigious personal award. That puts him tied for fourth among the betting favorites behind reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel (9-2).

For most 20-year-olds, that kind of preseason recognition would be pretty cool, not to mention a good launching-off point for a Heisman campaign.

But Bridgewater isn’t most 20-year-olds, and rather than having the university go out of its way to tout his Heisman candidacy, he’s done the opposite: He’s asked them not to mention it at all.

“I don’t pay attention to it. I’m all about this team,” Bridgewater told WDRB-TV in Louisville. “I’m all about the team having success. I’m all about my teammates becoming better players. The Heisman isn’t a goal of mine. A team effort, a national championship, a BCS game — those are our goals.”

According to WDRB’s report, Bridgewater originally gave the school the OK to explore a Heisman publicity push, but he later recanted and asked to have any such plans abandoned.

“He went to the coaches not wanting a Heisman-type campaign,” Louisville football sports information director Rocco Gasparro told the station. “He wanted it to be about team and, if we won as a team, individual recognition would come anyway. It says a lot about the character of Teddy, I think, and how much his team means to him.”

With concerns over managing his Heisman hype behind him, Bridgewater instead can move on to more important things, like living up to last year’s expectations this season, Louisville’s final in the Big East before moving on to the ACC. And that’s how Cardinals coach Charlie Strong likes it.

“We’re going to let Teddy go and play,” Strong told WDRB. “Teddy doesn’t want to let people down, and he doesn’t want all of the attention. He wants to win first and foremost.”