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Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour Faces National Media Hype

Andrew StoverContributor IJune 24, 2009

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - SEPTEMBER 20:  Quarterback Dan LeFevour #13 of the Central Michigan Chippewas during play against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on September 20, 2008 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Throw away the past three years. Sure, it got him to where he is now, but this year will linger with Dan LeFevour.

CMU's quarterback has created quite the legacy during his stay in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

It was first created on Aug. 31, 2006. In the season opener against Boston College of the Atlantic Coast Conference — a Bowl Championship Series opponent — sophomore quarterback Brian Brunner went down to injury three plays into the game.

Enter the redshirt freshman quarterback from Downers Grove, Ill.

LeFevour almost led a fourth quarter comeback against BC that fell just a touchdown short. But his mark was already left. He completed 22-of-37 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown, while also running for 72 yards and two touchdowns.

And this week, after LeFevour already has led CMU to two Mid-American Conference championships and one Motor City Bowl win in his career, the aura around the now senior star quarterback thickened. LeFevour was put on the cover of USA Today's College Football Preview '09 edition.

He headlined a group of six quarterbacks that included two-time national champion and Heisman winner, Tim Tebow of Florida, along with Colt McCoy of Texas, Todd Reesing of Kansas, Daryll Clark of Penn State and Max Hall of Brigham Young.

McCoy was the Associated Press's pick last year for Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year honors and besides LeFevour, BYU's Hall is the only other quarterback from a non-BCS school.

On the surface, the hype created by the cover shot creates a lot of positive energy around LeFevour and the entire football team. But with expectations comes pressure. And LeFevour, put in the same category as the nation's elite — specifically Tebow and McCoy — has a lot of pressure to perform.

Sure, he is 2-0 against rival Western Michigan. Over three years, he's won two MAC titles. But last year, CMU failed to reach the title game and lost its second consecutive Motor City Bowl. The loss to lowly Florida Atlantic, a team that came in with as many wins as losses, dropped LeFevour's bowl game record to 1-2.

Worse yet, LeFevour is 0-9 against teams from BCS conferences (Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, Big East, PAC 10, SEC). Statistically speaking, his performances have been adequate.

In the nine games, he's completed 55.7 percent of his throws, averaged more than 303 total yards from scrimmage and scored 25 touchdowns — 20 through the air — with just five interceptions. The deficiencies of the defense has been a burden to his winless streak.

Now a seasoned veteran of collegiate ball, the 6'3", 229-pound senior has to find a way. He already has the measurables, mobility and arm to play on Sundays. Now he has a chance to shine through pressure.

Forced to miss three games and most of another because of injuries last season, his last year at CMU has to be a year of redemption. Only a MAC championship would do justice to the amount of hype he has created. Winning a bowl game and upsetting one of the three BCS schools the Chippewas play would put a fitting ending to his legacy at CMU.

Playing Arizona, Michigan State, Boston College and rival Western Michigan all on the road will not be easy.

But like it or not, with the weight of an entire university on his shoulders, this season will likely define his collegiate career.

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As published in 6/24 edition of Central Michigan Life.

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