Late Bloomer #7: Aaron Rodgers
It’s crazy to think, but the world came so close to not knowing Aaron Rodgers. He was small and scrawny coming out of high school, and his only college football offer was to walk-on at Illinois. He actually considered quitting football, but eventually chose to attend Butte Community College, leading them to a 10-1 record before landing at Cal. Despite a 17-5 record as a starter in two seasons at Cal, there were skeptics, causing Rodgers to fall to 24th overall in the draft.
Of course, Rodgers was then relegated to the bench as Brett Favre’s backup for three seasons. But he finally got his chance in 2008 and immediately threw his first of many 4,000 yard seasons. Then came half a dozen Pro Bowl appearances and counting, two MVP awards, and a Super Bowl ring. When all is said and done, Rodgers may very well be 1B behind Tom Brady among quarterbacks of his generation and one of the finest of all-time.