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The Success and The Failures of Lefthanders in Sports

Lefthanded Quarterbacks

We are glad to see Tua Tagolaivoa join the NFL,

but we don't want to put our hopes on one guy.

The only lefthanded quarterback prospect to get an opportunity in recent years is Holton Ahlers, who was undrafted after a record breaking career at East Carolina.  He was signed as a free agent after college and spent some time in the Seattle Seahawks training camp in the 2023.

Every few years, college football experts put out a list of lefthanded quarterbacks who are playing college football, or have made the roster of a college football team.  While some of them go on to play and have productive college careers, few of them are ever considered good pro prosects.

The next highly rated lefthanded college quarterback prospect who should have an opportunity to play in the NFL is Michael Penix Jr. currently a senior at the University of Washington.  Penix, Jr. was rated as the next great lefthanded quarterback prospect six years ago when he was a freshman at University of Indiana, but injuries have curtailed his college career.​

Kellen Moore was the last lefthanded quarterback to play in the NFL, in December 2015.

A Rare Breed Has Become Extinct

Prior to the arrival of Tua Tagolaivoa in 2020, it had been more than four years since a lefthanded quarterback last played in the National Football League. 

The same league where Stabler, Zorn, Esiason, Young, Brunell, and Vick starred in the league and played in Super Bowls and made All-Pro Teams spanning over forty years, has not had even one lefthanded quarterback playing in the league since the end of 2015.

We were never expecting a lefthanded alternative universe, where all the best quarterbacks were lefthanders, and righthanded quarterbacks struggled for playing time and recognition.   

But we never expected a return to pre-historic times, or the pre-Stabler era, where lefthanders were not allowed to play quarterback and have fun throwing the football down the field.

Kellen Moore spent three seasons with the Detroit Lions but did not play or throw an NFL pass.  He signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 and started the last two games of the season.  He showed enough promise to be listed as the second-string quarterback for the Cowboys going into 2016, but he broke his ankle during preseason practice, missed the entire year, and never played again.  He retired shortly after and has become an assistant coach.

​​​Michael Vick was a #1 draft choice out of Virginia Tech, and played in 143 NFL games, starting 115 of them.  He played in one Super Bowl, and played in the Pro Bowl four times.  In 2015 he played in five games and started three of them for the Pittsburgh Steelers after the starting quarterback was injured.  Vick was not signed for the 2016 season and then retired at the end of the year.