Jim Duggan remembers Kyle Orton.
Not Orton, the NFL quarterback who spent most of his career with the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos.
Orton, the Southeast Polk Ram.
See, back in 2000, Iowa had two elite quarterback prospects: Orton and Mike Stuntz, the latter of whom played for Duggan at St. Albert in Council Bluffs. Orton went on to start four years at Purdue, and Stuntz wound up playing a few different positions for Nebraska.
Now, 18 years later, Duggan’s son, Max, is considered the state’s best quarterback prospect since Orton.
“Orton is talked about a lot in our house,” Jim Duggan quipped.
From a recruiting and talent standpoint, the comparison is valid. Both were four-star, cream-of-the-crop players with a long list of suitors. Both picked colleges that haven’t traditionally been the norm for Iowa products — with Orton at Purdue and Duggan, who plays for his dad at Lewis Central, on his way to TCU.
But that’s about where the similarities stop.
Orton’s legacy in Iowa is strong, thanks to his post-high school success. Truth is, he wasn’t a prolific quarterback at Southeast Polk. His name isn’t in the record books. He wasn’t even named to the all-state team as a senior.
That’s why, when we’re talking about legacy, Duggan could be unique.
“I really haven’t thought about (my legacy) as myself,” Duggan told the Register. “I’ve kind of thought about it as my school — what this is going to mean for our school down the line?”