Countdown to NFL Draft: QB Blake Bortles a top contender


by Marcelino Benito / KHOU 11 News

Posted on May 5, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 6 at 4:01 PM

HOUSTON -- Blake Bortles didn't use to be a household name, but the Central Florida quarterback now has people talking.

"It's been a great journey," said Bortles.

In a few days, a new journey could start here in Houston. The 22-year-old grew up just five miles from UCF. He played at Oveida High School. Every major football program ignored him, until UCD gave him a shot.

And he's delivered. He led UCF to a 12-1 season and a Fiesta Bowl win over Baylor. Since that day, his draft day stock has only risen.

"Definitely believe I belong here," said Bortles, during the NFL Combine.

Strong showings there and at Pro Day have helped generate more draft day buzz from experts than Johnny Manziel.

"I believe I can compete with any guy here," said Bortles.

He can throw. He can run. Experts say he can do it all.

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And if you're not sold on his game, his girlfriend, might do the trick. Lindsey Duke has that "it" factor too. The pair are high school sweethearts. And her bikini clad Instagram photos have made the UCF student and model into an internet sensation. She gets more online hits than her touchdown throwing beau.

"She's way more famous than I am," said Bortles.

Together on and off the field, they're a duo any city could come to love.

"I have no clue how I'd inspire a fan base," said Bortles. "I know I'd do everything I could to win."

In a few days, he could be inspiring Texans fans.