Mettenberger completed 64.9% of his passes for 3,082 yards, 22 touchdowns and 8 pass interceptions in 2013 and he led a team with a mediocre at best defense to a 9-3 regular season finish.
But it was how he played through an injury that everyone should remember him for.
It was obvious since the Ole Miss game that the flame-throwing Mettenberger had a lower-leg injury and a knee issue. He played through that injury and the 6-4, 230 pounder was still a really good player for the Tigers after a sizzling early season start.
While Mettenberger is not a “get in your face” type leader for criticism or encouragement he really caught everyone’s attention for his toughness, his grittiness and his quiet leadership on a team void of a “big man” leader on offense and also on the defensive side of the ball.
While being banged around quite often against Alabama and again against Arkansas Mettenberger showed the type intangibles that the pros were looking for and for some, it was in question.
You might question his decision making process at times, his lack of quickness in the pocket and a lack of a take-charge presence out on the field, but you can’t question Mettenberger’s toughness as a player and how much football means to him.
I strongly believe that Mettenberger will end up being a late first round pick in the 2014 NFL draft and my comparison to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco coming out of Delaware will be the one you will hear quite often over the next couple of months.