As a star quarterback at Fresno State and during his 14 NFL seasons, Trent Dilfer relied on his instincts to assess situations on the field and come to the correct conclusions.
Even years after retiring from the game, the ESPN analyst and Super Bowl champion has retained that knack for seeing things few others can — apparently even years in advance. Dilfer demonstrated this skill while counseling a standout prep quarterback named Jameis Winston during an August 2011 episode of Elite 11 quarterback competition, an excerpt of which can be seen in the video above. The entire episode re-airs today at 1 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
In this video, Dilfer advises Winston — then a rising senior year at Hueytown (Ala.) High School — that he will one day find himself pressed into a crucial game situation in which he would have to beat a defense with his wits instead of merely his athletic skills.
“It is going to come down to a third-and-7, in the fourth quarter, down by four and they are going to keep you in the pocket,” Dilfer explained to Winston. “They are not going to let you be fast and quick and all that. And that is going to be a mistake because you are going beat them here [pointing to his brain] and that is what I am most impressed with.”
The picture Dilfer painted in 2011 eerily mirrored the final drive of the BCS National Championship Game last Monday, in which Winston rallied Florida State from a four-point deficit in the final minutes to defeat Auburn. Watch the re-air of that game at 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU, immediately after this Elite 11 episode airs.