- Gino Torretta
Caption=Gino Torretta in 1993
DateOfBirth=Birth date and age|1970|8|10|mf=y
University of Miami
Davey O'Brien Award
1992 Johnny Unitas Award
Minnesota Vikings Detroit Lions San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks Indianapolis Colts
Gino Louis Torretta (born
August 10, 1970in Pinole, California) is a former Heisman Trophywinning American football quarterbackfor several teams in the National Football Leaguefrom 1993 to 1997.
Torretta is best known for winning the
Heisman Trophyin 1992 as the quarterback of the University of Miamiand playing on the University of Miami's National Championship teams of 1989 and 1991. He also won the 1992 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Awardafter his outstanding season.
University of Miami career
1989 and 1990 seasons
As quarterback at the University of Miami, Torretta spent his first two seasons mostly on the bench behind then starting quarterback
Craig Erickson, with his only significant playing time coming with three starts in 1989 after Erickson injured his throwing hand. During that span, however, the then-unknown Torretta lit up San Jose Statefor 486 yards, setting a school record for most passing yards in a game that has not since been broken.
In his first year as a starter, Torretta garnered further attention by stealing the show in a nationally-televised 1991 game versus the Houston Cougars and their Heisman-frontrunning quarterback,
David Klingler. As Miami's defense cut down Houston's run-and-shoot offense, Torretta was putting on the performance that many expected out of Klingler en route to a not-even-that-close 40-10 victory (Klingler's lone touchdown pass in the game would come with :03 left in the 4th quarter, against Miami's 3rd string Defense and the game long since decided). Torretta would go on that season to lead Miami to a 4th quarter comeback on the road versus #1 Florida State and ultimately to an undefeated season and a co-national championship.
Torretta passed for more than 3,000 yards his senior year in 1992 on his way to winning the
Heismanand the Davey O'Brien Awardthat season. One of the key games of the season came against West Virginia when he threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns in the 35-23 victory. His career as quarterback at the University of Miami was hugely successful, with Torretta leading the team to 26 wins and only one loss.
In the 1992 National Championship game, Torretta's Hurricanes were overmatched by the
University of AlabamaCrimson Tide's defense and Alabama won the game championship, 34-13.
1993 and 1994
Despite his huge collegiate-level success, Torretta was not a top NFL draft pick, and his NFL career was fairly unremarkable. He was not selected until the
Minnesota Vikingstook him in the 7th round in the 1993 NFL draft and then did not play him at all that year. In 1994, Torretta was on the Vikings' roster, and then was picked up by the Detroit Lions. As was the case in 1993, he failed to play at all in 1994, serving the entire season in a backup role with the Lions.
In 1995, Torretta moved to NFL Europe and was also on the roster for the
San Francisco 49ersand Detroit Lionsbut again was relegated to backup roles. He was cut by the 49ers in 1996 and subsequently picked up by the Seattle Seahawks. His only chance to play in an NFL game came in the 1996 season finale when he came off the bench for the Seahawks against the Oakland Raiders. He immediately threw a 32-yard touchdown pass that put Seattle ahead, leading the team to victory.
In 1997, Torretta was on the roster for Seattle and later the
Indianapolis Coltsbut again did not play. After that season, he retired from the NFL.
Torretta followed his NFL career with a position at
Wachovia Securitiesas a Senior Financial Advisor. He now works in the institutional and high net worth marketingteam of Gabelli Asset Management in the company's Floridaoffice. He is also Chairman/CEO of Touchdown Radio, www.touchdownradio.com, broadcasting an NCAA game of the week on national radio.
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