We may have a brewing battle of the wits.
Greg McElroy, a college football analyst at ESPN and former quarterback at Alabama and for the Jets, challenged top 2022 NFL Draft prospect Kayvon Thibodeaux to a Wonderlic duel.
This challenge stems from Thibodeaux ripping the academics at Alabama.
“I already hate the stigmatism of football players being dumb jocks,” Thibodeaux said in an interview with Fox Sports when asked about choosing Oregon over Alabama. “So now, do you know the stigmatism of Alabama education? It ain’t the West Coast. It ain’t Harvard.”
Thibodeaux played defensive end for Oregon and had seven sacks this past season. Many mock drafts have him going No. 1 overall to the Jaguars.
“If I would have went to Alabama … I don’t know if my degree would mean anything,” he said.
McElroy, who played for Alabama from 2007-10 and was the Jets’ backup quarterback in 2012, was taken aback by the perceived condescension. He addressed it on WJOX’s
“McElroy & Cubelic in the Morning.”
“I just take real personal offense, man,” McElroy said Thursday. “I genuinely do. I don’t care. Don’t come. If you think so little of us, don’t come. Fine by me, because I know the people that live in this state. I chose Alabama, because I love Alabama. … If you don’t want to see Alabama for the greatness it can potentially provide you, it’s on you. You’re missing out.
“He says he doesn’t like the stigma that athletes are dumb jocks, and yet, he sounds like a dumb jock. What I don’t understand is why he felt the need to cut down Alabama. And as someone who has always taken his academic situation very seriously, I’ll just come at him with this — if he’d like to take an IQ test, I’m available. If he’d like to take the Wonderlic test, I’m available. As a proud graduate with multiple degrees from Alabama, I will put my degree up against his any day of the week.”
The NFL is shedding the Wonderlic from its pre-Draft protocols this year. For years people have wondered if the intellectual aptitude test has any relevance as to how players will ultimately perform on the football field.
Nonetheless, it would be fascinating to see McElroy and Thibodeaux partake in this challenge.