Jack Trudeau: Short Lived Colts Quarterback

For Indianapolis sports fans, Peyton Manning might be the only Colts quarterback in recent history worth mentioning. Before 1998, there were several rounds of new quarterbacks for Indianapolis‘ NFL team, including Jim Harbaugh and Jeff George. Most of them were instantly forgettable, traded, cut, or demoted within the first few months of starting. One of these disappointing Indianapolis Colts signal callers was Jack Trudeau, chosen in the second round of the 1986 NFL Draft. Trudeau played for the Colts for seven seasons; nowadays, he’s a resident of Zionsville, Indiana and a regular contributor to the Bob and Tom Show.

Video of Zionsville, Indiana resident and former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jack Trudeau dissecting the game of football so you can learn to play


Born in Forest Lake, Minnesota on September 9, 1962, Trudeau’s family would eventually move to Livermore, California, where Trudeau would attend Granada High School. After his graduation from Granada, Trudeau would migrate from California to the Midwest. He attended the University of Illinois, where he became the starting quarterback for the Fighting Illini. He was the starter for the Illini from his sophomore to his senior year, and he proved himself more than adequate for the position. His sophomore year, he helped make University of Illinois history when he led the football team to a victory against every Big Ten Conference opponent that year, including Indiana University and Purdue University; the Fighting Illini were the first team to achieve such a milestone. Unfortunately, Trudeau and the Illini would go on to lose the 1984 Rose Bowl that year to UCLA, 45 – 9. His poise and skill would earn him All Big Ten honors in 1984; he was also the runner up for the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the top college quarterback in the United States.

Video highlights of Zionsville, Indiana resident and former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jack Trudeau and the Fighting Illini playing against Ohio State in 1983


Jack Trudeau again earned All Big Ten honors in his junior year, 1985, and by the time of his graduation in 1986 he had secured several school records. He made the most pass attempts (1151), throwing yards (8146), pass completions (737), and touchdowns (51) of any Illini quarterback at the time, and he also set an NCAA record for most completed passes without an interception (215). In part because of his college accomplishments, Trudeau went to nearby Indiana after his graduation from the University of Illinois when he was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the 1986 NFL Draft. In his rookie season with the Colts, Trudeau started 11 games and didn’t make much headway; he finished out the 1986 season with 2,225 yards, 8 touchdowns, a whopping 18 interceptions, and a measly 53.5 passer rating.

Video of Zionsville, Indiana resident and former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jack Trudeau teaching young quarterbacks at Football University


Jack Trudeau’s subsequent seasons weren’t much better. In the 1987 – 1988 season, he split snaps with Gary Hogeboom, and he shared snaps with Jeff George in the 1988 – 1989 season and then again from 1990 through 1993. His stats didn’t improve much, either; he ended the 1988 season (in which he had two starts) with a 19 passer rating, and he had a passer rating of 0 in the 1990 season. Certainly his best year in Indy was the 1989 – 1990 season; that year, he threw 15 touchdowns and completed 52 percent of his passes for a total of 2,317 yards. Trudeau was named the Colts’ Offensive MVP that year. 1993 would prove to be Jack Trudeau’s last season with the Colts. In the five games he started, Trudeau scored only two touchdowns and racked up seven interceptions, earning him a cumulative passer rating of 57.4.

Video of Zionsville, Indiana resident and former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jack Trudeau being interviewed after a disappointing loss to the Houston Oilers


After the 1993 season, the Indianapolis Colts had had enough of Jack Trudeau. He had had some decent success in his limited time on the field, but the finicky sports fans at the RCA Dome in downtown Indianapolis had failed to bond with the quarterback, and so he was released to the New York Jets, where he played backup quarterback to Boomer Esiason in the 1994 NFL season. He played five games for the Jets, but his interception woes continued; he threw one touchdown and four interceptions in those five regular season appearances. In 1995, the Carolina Panthers (along with the Jacksonville Jaguars) joined the NFL as an expansion team, and Jack Trudeau was picked up by the brand new team to play third string quarterback. His first game with the Panthers would prove to be his final game in the NFL, a dismal outing in which Trudeau threw for a 65% completion rate, a good stat that was tempered by the three interceptions and zero touchdowns Trudeau also threw.

Video of Zionsville, Indiana resident and former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jack Trudeau making NFL predictions on Zakk and Jack


Jack Trudeau retired from professional football after the 1995 season, but he’s still active in Indianapolis business, Indianapolis media, and other facets of life in the Circle City. He’s the president of Envirosave-USA and is the co-owner of Wolf Run Golf Club, an Indiana golf course located in Trudeau’s resident city of Zionsville, Indiana. Trudeau’s is a common voice on Indianapolis radio stations, as well; he’s a weekly contributor to the Bob and Tom Show on WFBQ 94.7 FM, where he discusses the Colts and the NFL. The former Colts quarterback is also the host of Zakk and Jack, a sports talk show that used to run on WNDE AM 1260 in Indianapolis but has now been syndicated by Fox Sports Radio. Though Jack Trudeau didn’t make much of an impact with the Indianapolis Colts, this famous Zionsville person is still heavily active in the Hoosier community as a radio personality and local small business owner.

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