Andrew Luck is now officially the Quarterback of Indianapolis Colts, set to ‘replace’ the legendary Peyton Manning. In his interview, he seemed relaxed, but from my angle Luck’s left leg was shaking a mile-a-minute. I don’t take that as nervous, but more anxious to get over the media process and on to Indy. Here’s the entire transcript of the video interview above, thanks to the NFL:
Q. How do you feel?
I couldn’t be more excited. It was an unbelievable experience – once in a lifetime. I couldn’t be more excited.
Q. Be honest, how many times in the last two months have you been on the Indianapolis Wikipedia page?
More Colts.com, but no, trying to learn about the city, as well.
Q. Engineering is not exactly the easiest thing. How do you do it?
You have very accommodating professors at Stanford, and they encourage you to do well in all facets of life, whether it’s socially, academically or athletically – good professors, and I guess it’s a good place to be.
Q. Are there some things you’ll be able to do to get a head start?
Absolutely, I think that’ll definitely be a challenge. There are no bones about it. I think getting sort of homework playbook‑wise, stuff to do, stuff to get your mind thinking over the playbook, and if there’s ways to within the rules get with some of the receivers like Reggie (Wayne), Austin (Collie), and try and start throwing and building up the rapport, that’ll be critical.
Q. Do you think some of those guys will come out to Palo Alto?
I don’t know if it’s Palo Alto. I don’t know if it’s Miami or wherever it is, but it’s something we’ll definitely have to consider.
Q. Talk about your thoughts about the pressure replacing a Pro Football Hall of Fame caliber quarterback?
Peyton Manning, arguably the greatest ever. He was my football hero growing up. I realize you don’t really replace a guy like that. Those shoes to fill are huge. I’m not going to go crazy trying to do everything that Peyton did. I realize we’re different personalities so I’ll put my best foot forward and try to work hard every day. If one day I can be mentioned alongside Peyton in quarterback history, it would be a football dream come true.
Q. Have any of the pass rushers here in town talk about getting after you?
I’m trying to be extra nice to all of them, to be nice to me.
Q. What did they say to you on the phone when they called?
They all said, “Very excited, can’t wait for you to be a part of the team. Enjoy this night. We’ll look forward to seeing you tomorrow and Friday.”
Q. What have you got to say to the fans in Indianapolis?
I can’t wait. I’m truly humbled and honored to represent the city, represent the team and I’ll do it to the best of my ability.
Q. So much was said about your college days preparing for this level. How often did the offense you ran at Stanford prepare you for the NFL?
I don’t know. I think it was a great offense for me. I think it put a lot on our plate. I think having Coach (Jim) Harbaugh and Coach (David) Shaw was awesome, but we’ll see. I’ll have to do the minicamps and OTAs and I’ll have a better answer for you in a couple months.
Q. How do you feel about playing in the footsteps of a legend like Peyton Manning?
Obviously, you don’t really replace him. You just try and do the best you can. He was my hero growing up, but you try and do the best you can.
Q. Two Stanford guys possibly in the first round, what do you think that says about the future?
I hope it’s four Stanford guys selected in the first round, but it’s great players out there, great coaches, and I’m really excited to see where the program is going.
Q. Has Peyton given you any advice about how to start your career with the team that is essentially starting over?
He has not. I reached out to him for advice when I came back to school for my senior year, but I haven’t really talked to him since then.
Q. Are you glad they didn’t use the whole 10 minutes?
Yes, I am.
Q. You seem to be laughing a lot.
I can’t think of anything specific, but I think more excited laughing.
Q. It’s an honor to be the first pick, but do you wish you could have had the right to interview with a whole lot of employers?
I’m not complaining at all about the situation.
Q. I’m a West Virginia grad. I know you were hoping to be close to Morgantown. Is Indy close enough for you?
Absolutely. I think anywhere would be close enough to get a chance to play professional football. It’s a six‑hour drive down 70 so I know my folks are excited about that.
Q. What is the one thing you’re expecting to be different from Pac‑12 football to the NFL?
I think quality of play. It’s the NFL. It’s the best. I think just overall quality, speed of the D‑line men or the athletic ability of the DBs so overall quality.
Q. Besides your dad, who was your favorite quarterback growing up?
It was Peyton.
Q. Talk about the role your dad has played in your life, specifically here in the last month or two?
He’s been great. He’s never been too overbearing in the athletic world, even though I think he went through a lot of similar experiences, sort of let me figure out things for myself. He’s been great to lean on, especially if I have a question or getting emotionally high jacked about something, whatever it might be, he brings a great perspective to everything, and I feel very fortunate to have him not only as a father but sort of an encyclopedia.
Q. First big purchase, what’s it going to be?
I’m not sure. I’ve got to get an apartment or a house or something, so I’ll start there.
Q. How about a new phone?
Q. Any endorsement deals yet? Robert Griffin III just signed with Subway.
I’m with Nike.
Q. What’s it like following Cam Newton in such a big year, trying to control expectations?
I think you try not to get caught up too much in comparing yourself to other guys because at the end of the day, you’re either going to devalue yourself or devalue someone. Everybody is different, everybody goes into different situations. Just try to do the best you can. I know that’s terribly cliché, but I think when you start getting too emotionally invested in what someone else did last year or two years ago, then you might not be able to put all your energy in the right place.
Q. Is there something in you that’s going to always want to prove worthy of being the No. 1 pick overall?
I think as a football player, I think what’s great about it is you always have to prove yourself every Saturday or Sunday. That was my feeling in college. You go out, doesn’t matter what you did last week; you want to prove yourself every week. I don’t know if in my mind it’ll be because I was the No. 1 pick, but I know I have high expectations for myself and I’ll go out there and prove myself every week.
Q. What does being a professional mean?
It’s a true honor. The word “professional,” you use it a lot when you’re in college; you want to be a professional, act like a professional. Now really it is that time, I guess, and I feel very honored. I’m blessed, fortunate to be in this situation. I’ll try to represent my family, the Colts, the NFL to the best of my abilities.