JACKSONVILLE, FL – OCTOBER 18: Blake Bortles #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars attempts a pass during the game against the Houston Texans at EverBank Field on October 18, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

C’mon, did you really think a guy named Blake Bortles was going to be a sure-thing superstar?

Apparently so! The Central Florida quarterback was at the center of the school’s best season in history, culminating in a 52–42 upset victory over No. 6 Baylor in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl. Forgoing his senior season, Bortles left college with 7,598 passing yards and 71 total touchdowns in three years.

The hype took over from there and Bortles was picked No. 3 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the first of 14 QBs taken that year. The stars were aligned for the Florida boy to make good in the pros. And if you asked a whole lot of people, Bortles was going to make magic happen because the kid just had that “it” factor.

Don’t believe us?


And well after the draft and into his rookie season, Bortles’ “it” factor remained very evident.

There’s only three people you can describe as having “that it factor” and “the flare for the dramatic.” Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, and Blake Bortles.

“That’s that ‘it’ factor, man,” receiver Cecil Shorts III said, per ESPN.com. “That’s why he went third overall. He’s got that ‘it’ about him. When you really need it, he’s going to make the play, he’s going to find a guy, he’s going to do what he needs to do.

Bortles went on to start 13 games as a rookie, throwing for 2,908 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. That “it” factor came through in his second season when he totaled 4,428 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions. Last year, however, he lost “it,” ending up with 3,905 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions.

The Jaguars haven’t given up on Bortles yet. They picked up the fifth-year option on his contract and he heads into the upcoming season with the weight of the franchise on his shoulders.

“It” factor? Bortles certainly has a chance to prove he’s got something. But so far, we’re not sure he’s got “it.” At least not as sure as those people were.

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.