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Shrine Game begins the annual Wonderlic test debate

How bad are they?

Let the Wonderlic debates and hype begin. Image Source:

On Monday afternoon Wes Bunting of National Football Post reported that five players on hand in Orlando this week for the 86th Annual East-West Shrine Game chose not to take part in the Wonderlic test, “a twelve-minute, fifty-question test used to assess the aptitude of prospective [NFL players] for learning and problem-solving in a range of occupations,” (according to Wikipedia of course). Those players are as follows…

  • North Carolina DT Marvin Austin
  • Ohio State SS Jermale Hines
  • Illinois OL Randall Hunt
  • Penn State DT Ollie Ogbu
  • Miami CB Demarcus Van Dyke

As I pointed out on, these tests are optional and may be taken at a later time anyway so the fact that these players, some of whom are likely to be on hand for the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine, will have another opportunity or two to complete a test anyway. But in this day and age the fact that these players, including the controversial Marvin Austin from North Carolina tends to raise an eye brow or two.

“Why would he not take it?”

“Is he scared to take it?”

“What’s he hiding?”

Relax. Would you take the SAT before preparing for it? Not likely (I did but that’s another story). These players still have time to better prepare for the test. Maybe they are poor test takers? It would be unwise to take the test earlier than ready for and I think everyone would agree to that. Regardless of how these players eventually do on the test and how the rest of the Shrine Game participants do we can all bank on the fact that some players will be under the spotlight for their tests once again this season, and all players are hoping to do better than Vince Young, who infamously scored six out of a possible 50 points in 2006.

Cam Newton's Wonderlic score will be monitored closely on the Internet. Getty Images.

Cam Newton, who has been well known to have had some issues in the past regarding academics while at Florida, declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft and many are looking forward to seeing where this past season’s best college football player winds up. Others are already taking bets on what his Wonderlic score will. On Friday Spencer Hall of Every Day Should Be Saturday posted his official prediction thread. Hall also lists some of the more notable scores on the test by former college football players. Peyton Manning scored a 28. Mark Sanchez also scored a 28. Tee Martin scored an 11 and Chris Leak scored 8, not that the Gators fan was trying to poke fun at some of his favorite rivals of course. Florida’s Tim Tebow happened to score a 22 by the way, which is considered to be below average. The average Wonderlic score for a quarterback is 24.

The more important question is just how much value should be placed on this test?

That’s what I am asking you today. Cast your vote below in the poll and please provide your comments in the comment field of the post to share your opinions on the importance of the Wonderlic test in football. Your input will be greatly appreciated.

About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.