'Duck Dynasty' star once started over Terry Bradshaw

Phil Robertson played QB at Louisiana Tech long before being reality show sensation. Terry McCormick

Print This March 01, 2013, 09:39 AM EST

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To those who watch the reality show "Duck Dynasty" on A&E, the stars of the show, the Robertson family, don't look like they would have much influence on a Hall of Fame quarterback like Terry Bradshaw.

But as revealed, Phil Robertson was once a football player, and not just any football player, he was a good enough quarterback at Louisiana Tech to start ahead of Bradshaw and perhaps good enough to have played in the NFL. One former teammate said Robertson was spokely highly of by none other than Bear Bryant.

"I remember the next day in the paper (after a game against Alabama) Bryant said, “That young man over there on the Tech sideline, that quarterback, he has one heck of an arm. He’s a great prospect. He’s one of the best prospects I’ve seen.” And Bear Bryant’s quarterback was “Snake” Stabler," recalled former La. Tech tackle Butch Williams.

Bradshaw, of course, went on to become the first overall pick in the 1970 draft and one of the foundations of the Pittsburgh Steelers' teams under Chuck Noll in the '70s.

Robertson, former teammates said, was a pretty decent quarterback himself back in the day, but his love of hunting and the outdoors led him to give up the sport before his senior season, handing the reins to Bradshaw.

"I had the arm. The ability was there. Bradshaw probably had me a little more on distance. I was about a 65-yard man. … I remember at some point, Bradshaw and I would get out there and he would throw like 70-plus," Robertson recalled.

It worked out well for both men - one a Hall of Famer and part of the Steelers Dynasty and the other, of course, as the star of "Duck Dynasty."

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