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  1. #1
    RamFan_Til_I_Die's Avatar
    RamFan_Til_I_Die is offline Registered User
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    Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB
    BY JIM THOMAS

    05/03/2009

    He put up great numbers at the small-college level. He's an unabashed man of God whose pregame ritual includes reading the Bible. He once worked in a grocery store. Has been known to sport a 5 o'clock shadow. And just like you-know-who, he has come to the Rams deep from the heart of nowhere.

    OK, show of hands. When you heard the Rams might select a quarterback in the 2009 draft, how many had Keith Null, the pride of West Texas A&M, in the pool?

    Well, here he is, at the Rams minicamp this weekend. And yes, he's a big Kurt Warner fan.

    He's definitely a guy I look up to," Null said. "Just really out there with his spiritual life, and gives God all the glory for everything he does. I look up to that, extremely."

    Null put up extreme numbers in two seasons as a starter at West Texas A&M, an NCAA

    Division II school in Canyon, Texas. Null holds 22 school, Lone Star Conference or NCAA records. He

    finished his college career with 9,769 yards passing, a completion percentage of 67.5, and 92 touchdown passes. Seeing that Null played sparingly in his first two college seasons, those are staggering numbers.

    "We threw the ball probably 95 percent of the time in that offense," Null said.

    Null went out in a blaze of glory, completing 42 of 63 passes for 595 yards, seven TDs and no interceptions in his final college game. Believe it or not, West Texas A&M lost that Division II playoff game 93-68 to Abilene Christian.

    Somehow, Null escaped the attention of bigger colleges playing at Lampasas High, about an hour north of Austin in central Texas. The town of Lampasas (pop. 6,786) is known for its annual Spring Ho Festival, and is mentioned in the Hank Williams Jr. song, "Texas Women."

    "I think just somehow I slipped through the cracks," said Null, who wants to be a minister when his playing days are finished. "West Texas A&M found me, and it was a perfect fit for me. I was glad to go there."

    But how did the Rams find him?

    "The scouts," Rams general manager Billy Devaney said, noting that scout Steve Kazor "was there on the school call."

    But it wasn't until the Cactus Bowl, a Division II all-star game in Kingsville, Texas, that the Rams really got interested. With offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and scout Dick Daniels in attendance, Null was named Cactus Bowl MVP after completing a bowl-record 19 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns.

    Northeastern (Okla.) State wide receiver Jarrett Byers, who was signed Monday by the Rams as a rookie free agent, had the longest play from scrimmage in the Cactus Bowl, catching a 48-yarder from Null.

    "I turned it up, and he's got an arm on him," Byers said. "He threw it as hard as possible and I caught it."

    Northeastern State played West Texas A&M in the regular season, losing 59-9, so Byers has seen Null from the other sideline as well.

    "I think he's a real good quarterback," Byers said. "He's got the arm. He's got the height. He stays in the pocket when he has to, and he delivers the ball good."

    The Rams thought so, too. After Fresno State's Thomas Brandstater, who paid a pre-draft visit to Rams Park, went early in the sixth round, the Rams made Null the 10th quarterback drafted, selecting him late in the sixth round at No. 196 overall.

    As the Rams' personnel department went through its pre-draft evaluation process, Devaney said he kept asking: "Why is this guy at West Texas A&M?"

    "And there wasn't any reason," Devaney continued. "He was overlooked coming out of high school, and went to a place where they were going to throw the ball around a lot. I don't know why he winds up at West Texas. ... I don't know how those things happen."

    Similarly, how do you explain the fact that Null got drafted, while college stars such as Chase Daniel of Missouri and Graham Harrell of Texas Tech did not?

    "I don't know if I can make sense of it," Null said. "I just think it was a blessing to be able to come here and be in the spot that I'm at. And you know, I don't think they would've drafted me if they didn't think I could do it. So I'm here."

    Null has spent most of his first Rams minicamp at the side of quarterbacks coach Dick Curl. Most of Null's work so far has been during individual drills, but he has gotten some throws in during 7-on-7 drills as well. Null has displayed good arm strength to go along with prototype QB size at 6-4, 220 pounds.

    "I talked to Coach Curl," Null said. "He's not going to throw me into the fire. He's definitely going to be patient with me and help me learn."

    And from there, the Rams will see if lightning strikes twice in terms of finding the next Kurt Warner.


  2. #2
    ramsanddodgers's Avatar
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    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    Nice story, I hope he is just a nice an addition to the team!
    RnD

    GO RAMS!!

  3. #3
    LA Rammer's Avatar
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    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    so they didn't just sign this guy to be on the practice squad.
    LA RAMMER

    It's Jim not Chris
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

  4. #4
    unorthodox1999's Avatar
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    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    here come the Null-nites lol...


    Oh by the way, it does feel good to see someone from my neck of the woods,,good ol' West Texas, on my favorite team!
    Last edited by unorthodox1999; -05-03-2009 at 01:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    This is a nice little story. Let's see how he develops. Wanna watch the preseason to get a view of him.

  6. #6
    bigtiger737 Guest

    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooselini View Post
    This is a nice little story. Let's see how he develops. Wanna watch the preseason to get a view of him.
    Wow nimbers like that and they lost!
    hehe I bet there defence was sweet

  7. #7
    dvbear55 Guest

    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    He can be one of those play-calling backup QB's. With those numbers, he can have a pretty darn good preseason. Let's just wait and see.

  8. #8
    GolfnRAMFAN is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    Null went out in a blaze of glory, completing 42 of 63 passes for 595 yards, seven TDs and no interceptions in his final college game. Believe it or not, West Texas A&M lost that Division II playoff game 93-68 to Abilene Christian.
    Oh my god! That has to be one of the highest scores in football history! And was Ryan Leaf playing DT on West Texas A&M? wow!

  9. #9
    rams#1 Guest

    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    I think that in 3 years keith null will be our starting QB. no joke

  10. #10
    tenplay Guest

    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    I hope he can overcome his name. "Null" means without value, effect, consequence, or significance. He has a lot to overcome having built his stats on a small college team that threw 95% of the time kinda like Texas Tech which never gets its high stats QBs drafted by the NFL. And having Ryan Leaf as his coach couldn't help his attitude since Leaf was always "me first" and not willing to give it up for his team. I guess you gotta root for a kid with those hurdles to overcome.

  11. #11
    sb34rams's Avatar
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    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    So, is this our number two QB and Boller gets cut?

  12. #12
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    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    He is very religious too. He is pretty much already Kurt Warner version 2.0. I hope more people hop on this bandwaggon so he can start the next preseason game. Maybe then people will either be overly hyped by his good performance or everyone will come back down to earth by how he performs against people that will actually make an NFL team.

    I also want to see his final college game. It sounds like it would be very entertaining.

  13. #13
    btimsah Guest

    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    Cool article. Fascinating comparison's to Warner. Could be QB of the future. I don't care what division he was in, the kid is accurate and can throw. Period.

  14. #14
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    Okay Tenplay, let's go from 'Null' to 'Full' ... of good things!

    I don't know much at all about this KN rookie but for now, I'll be rooting for him in that he develops well behind Bulger and Boller. Much too early to "compare" his Warner-like potential. Odds totally against that happening.

    Right?...

  15. #15
    TorontoRams Guest

    Re: Rams hoping to strike gold again at QB

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Okay Tenplay, let's go from 'Null' to 'Full' ... of good things!

    I don't know much at all about this KN rookie but for now, I'll be rooting for him in that he develops well behind Bulger and Boller. Much too early to "compare" his Warner-like potential. Odds totally against that happening.

    Right?...
    The odds aren't good for Null, especially as an undrafted kid, but look at Tony Romo. You have to bring these guys along slowly and if you found the right one, well you have a damn good player on your hands.

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