Although widely projected as the first overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, Luck decided to return to Stanford for his redshirt junior season. A year later, he was selected first overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. In his first three professional seasons, Luck has led the Colts to three playoff appearances including two AFC South division titles in 2013 and 2014, also earning a Pro Bowl selection in each season. In the 2013–14 NFL playoffs, he led the Colts to the second largest playoff comeback in NFL history. Primarily known for his passing, Luck has also established himself as an elite running quarterback.
Luck was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Oliver Luck, current executive vice president for regulatory affairs at the NCAA and a former quarterback (as well as athletic director) at West Virginia University and a former NFL quarterback for the Houston Oilers, and Kathy (née Wilson) Luck.
Oliver Luck was general manager of two World League of American Football teams prior to becoming president of the league, so Andrew spent his early childhood in London and Frankfurt, Germany, where he attended Frankfurt International School. He is the oldest of four children, including sisters Mary Ellen and Emily, and his brother Addison. Mary Ellen is a Stanford graduate who played volleyball there, Emily is a current Stanford student, and Addison lived in Morgantown, West Virginia before their father's job took him to the Indianapolis area. In London, he attended The American School in London. As a result of his childhood in London, he is a fan of soccer. Although supporters of London clubs Arsenal and Tottenham have reached out to him believing he was a fellow fan, Luck said, "I try to support as many of the American fellows playing [in the Premier League] as possible." Luck said the Houston Dynamo was the "number one team in my heart", because his father was the club's founding president and general manager.
The Luck family returned to Texas when Oliver Luck was named CEO of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority. In Houston, Andrew attended Stratford High School, where he threw for 7,139 yards and 53 touchdowns in his high school career, and rushed for another 2,085 yards. Luck was also co-valedictorian of his graduating class in 2008. Regarded as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Luck was listed as the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2008. He played in the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. A highly rated high school recruiting target, he chose Stanford over offers from Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Rice, and Virginia, after being recruited by Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh.
After accepting an athletic scholarship to attend Stanford University, Luck played for coach Jim Harbaugh and coach David Shaw's Stanford Cardinal football team from 2008 to 2011.
After redshirting during his freshman year in 2008, he earned the starting quarterback job in 2009 over the returning starter, Tavita Pritchard, thereby becoming the first Stanford freshman to earn the starting quarterback job since Chad Hutchinson in 1996. In his first season, Luck led the Cardinal to victories over top-10 Oregon and USC teams and a berth in the 2009 Sun Bowl. Playing in a run-oriented offense featuring Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby Gerhart, Luck threw for 2,575 yards. Luck had 2,929 yards of total offense, the fifth highest total in Stanford history. He led the Pac-10 in pass efficiency rating with a rating of 143.5, and finished second in the Pac-10 in total offense.
Luck injured a finger on his throwing hand in the Cardinal's final regular season game against Notre Dame. He had surgery prior to the Sun Bowl and did not play in the game.
In 2010, Luck emerged as one of the top players in the nation. Luck was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year and was unanimously selected to the All-Pac-10 First Team. Luck led Stanford to a 12–1 record, a #4 ranking in the final AP Poll, and a victory in the Orange Bowl. Luck was named the Orange Bowl MVP after throwing 4 touchdown passes in Stanford's 40–12 win over Virginia Tech. Luck led the Pac-10 in pass efficiency for the second straight year with a quarterback rating of 170.2. He also led the conference in total offense with 3,791 yards, in passing yards with 3,338 yards, and in touchdown passes with 32. Luck rushed for 453 yards, a record for Stanford quarterbacks, with three runs of over 50 yards. Luck's 32 touchdown passes are a new Stanford record, breaking the old record of 27 held by John Elway and Steve Stenstrom. Luck's 3,791 yards of total offense also are a school record, breaking the old record of 3,398 yards held by Stenstrom. Luck also set new Stanford single season records for completion percentage (70.7%) and pass efficiency rating (170.2). He won the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week award for his performances against Arizona and California.
Luck finished the 2010 season with two years of college eligibility remaining. He was eligible to declare for the 2011 NFL Draft, but announced on January 6, 2011 that he would remain at Stanford to complete his degree. He was viewed by many TV sportscasters and ESPN writers as the top pro quarterback prospect in college football. In December 2010, Sporting News projected Luck as the No. 1 selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, had he entered.
In 2011, Luck led Stanford to a record of 11–2, a berth in a BCS bowl (the Fiesta Bowl), and a # 7 ranking in the final AP Poll. He won the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. He was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy for the second consecutive year, becoming the fourth player to finish second in the Heisman voting twice. He was named a First Team All America (AFCA, Walter Camp, ESPN.com, Pro Football Weekly). He was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, becoming only the fifth player to win that award twice (after John Elway, Charles White, Reggie Bush, and Rueben Mayes). He was named First Team All-Pac-12 for the second straight year. Luck set a new Stanford record for career touchdown passes with 82, breaking John Elway's record of 77. Luck also set a new school record for touchdown passes in a season with 37, breaking his own record of 32. Luck set another school record for career total offense with 10,387 yards, breaking Steve Stenstrom's mark of 9,825 yards. Luck became Stanford's all-time leader in wins by a starting quarterback, with 31 wins through the end of the regular season. Luck also became Stanford's all-time leader in winning percentage by a starting quarterback, with a winning percentage of .816 (31–7). Luck broke the Pac-12 records for career passing efficiency rating (162.8) and career completion percentage (67.0%). He also broke his own Pac-12 record for highest completion percentage in a season (71.3%). Luck was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against Washington State. He earned the 2011 Academic All-America of the Year award.
Reference: Andrew Luck profile at Sports-Reference.com
2011 seasonFirst-team All American (AFCA, Walter Camp, ESPN.com, PFW)
Walter Camp Player of the Year Award
Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
Heisman Trophy runner-up
Davey O'Brien Award finalist
Manning Award finalist
Academic All-America of the Year (CoSIDA)
Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year
Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, October 17, 2011
In September 2010, prior to Luck's sophomore season, Sports Illustrated′s Tony Pauline considered him to be "the most NFL-ready of all the draft-eligible quarterback prospects." After a stellar sophomore year, Luck was widely projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, but decided to return for his junior season. Right after the 2011 Draft, in May 2011, he was unanimously projected as the top prospect for the 2012 NFL Draft. By midseason, Pauline described him as "the best quarterback since Peyton Manning" in 1998, while ESPN′s Mel Kiper, Jr. went even further, calling Luck the best quarterback prospect since John Elway in 1983. Despite Robert Griffin III′s impressive Heisman Trophy winning season, Luck's status as the No. 1 overall draft prospect was never questioned.
Throughout the 2011 NFL season, some fans called for their teams to try to lose their remaining games (or "Suck for Luck"), in order to improve their chances for the first pick in the draft. By midseason, the Miami Dolphins were believed to be the "frontrunners" for the No. 1 pick, and drew criticism from their former franchise quarterback Dan Marino. The Indianapolis Colts, who were without starting quarterback Peyton Manning, won the "Luck sweepstakes" with a 2–14 record.
Ending speculations on April 24, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson announced the team would take Luck with their first overall draft pick. The decision became official on draft day, April 26, 2012. Luck was the fourth Stanford quarterback to be selected first overall, after Bobby Garrett in 1954, Jim Plunkett in 1971, and Elway in 1983. Luck was the second Stanford quarterback to be taken first overall by the Colts (Elway in 1983).
On July 19, 2012, Luck officially signed a four-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts worth $22 million. This deal made Luck the fourth starting quarterback for the Colts in the past two NFL seasons, following Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter, and Dan Orlovsky. In his debut, a preseason game against the St. Louis Rams, Luck's first pass was a 63-yard touchdown pass to running back Donald Brown. He also threw a touchdown pass to receiver Austin Collie. In his second preseason game, a 26–24 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Luck played during the first half and ran for one touchdown, with two interceptions.
In his regular season debut, Luck threw his first career interception to Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings. He would later throw his first career touchdown pass to Donnie Avery. Ultimately, Luck completed 23 of 45 passes for 309 yards, a touchdown, and three interceptions, as the Colts lost 41–21. The next week against the Minnesota Vikings, Luck threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Additionally, Luck got his first career win in the NFL and did this by completing his first game-winning drive of his professional career. Before a week 5 showdown with the Green Bay Packers and reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia and had to take a leave of absence. Rallying the team for their coach (a movement that become known as "CHUCKSTRONG") Luck completed his second career game-winning drive by throwing a touchdown to Reggie Wayne with 35 seconds left to pull off the stunning upset. Luck's then career-best 362-yard passing effort set a new rookie QB mark in Colts franchise history. The 18-point comeback also was the best by a rookie quarterback since Matthew Stafford, the first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, led a 21-point rally for the Lions vs. the Browns in 2009. Luck completed 31 of 55 for 362 yards and three total touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing). Luck won his first career road and overtime game during a week 8 game against the division rival Tennessee Titans. A touchdown pass to running back Vick Ballard on the first drive of overtime gave the Colts a 19–13 victory. In a week 9 win against the Miami Dolphins, Luck threw for 433 yards, a new record for most yards in a game by a rookie QB (surpassing Cam Newton's 432 against the Green Bay Packers in 2011). Luck later sent his jersey from the Dolphins game to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Through Week 9, Luck had thrown for the same number of yards as his predecessor, Peyton Manning. In Week 13 against the Detroit Lions, Luck and the Colts were trailing 33–21 with 2:39 left. After throwing a touchdown to fellow rookie LaVon Brazill, Luck and the Colts were able to get the ball back and get to the Lions' 14-yard line, facing a 4th down with :04 left. Luck then threw a screen pass to Donnie Avery who got free and ran in for the winning score, marking a big moment in Luck's early career. The win gave Luck his eighth on the season – the most wins by a rookie quarterback drafted first overall in NFL history, as well as his fifth game-winning drive on the season, tying Vince Young and Ben Roethlisberger for the most by a rookie quarterback. On December 23, 2012, Luck broke the record for most passing yards in a season by a rookie against the Kansas City Chiefs, throwing 205 to bring his season total to 4,183. Cam Newton held the previous record with 4,051 yards.
In 2013, Luck was reunited with offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, who was his offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Stanford. In week 1 against the Oakland Raiders, Luck capped off another comeback win by scoring a 20-yard rushing touchdown in a 21–17 win. After a week 2 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Luck defeated his former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh in a 27–7 win against the San Francisco 49ers in week 3. After falling behind early to Jacksonville in week 4, Luck and the Colts scored 37 unanswered points to win 37–3. The win gave Luck a 14–6 record through his first 20 games, tying him with John Elway for the best record through 20 games for a quarterback selected first overall.
On October 6, he led the Colts to a 34–28 win over the then-undefeated Seattle Seahawks in his first game against fellow sophomore quarterback Russell Wilson. Luck also recorded his ninth career 4th quarter comeback in the win, handing Seattle their first regular-season loss since November 25, 2012. The Colts travelled to San Diego for a week 6 Monday Night Football match, the first of Luck's career. Indianapolis was dominated in time of possession and lost 19–9. In week 7, Peyton Manning made his return to Lucas Oil Stadium to play Luck on Sunday night. The Colts lead at halftime 26–14, and survived a near comeback by previously undefeated Denver to win 39–33, going into a bye week. The win also snapped Denver's 17-game regular season winning streak. Luck won his second AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Broncos, going 21–38 for 228 yards with 3 touchdown passes, 1 rushing touchdown, and no interceptions. After a week 8 bye, Luck engineered his tenth career 4th quarter comeback, scoring 15 points in the quarter to defeat the Houston Texans 27–24. He threw 3 touchdown passes, all to fellow sophomore Colt T. Y. Hilton, and finished with 271 yards passing with no interceptions. In week 14 of the season, the Colts won their first division championship under Luck and were the first team to clinch their division that season. The next week, Luck threw for 2 touchdowns in a 25–3 victory over the division rival Texans.
In a week 16 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, Luck threw for 241 yards and 1 touchdown to lead the Colts to a 23–7 victory. In doing so, he passed Peyton Manning for second place for quarterback passing yards through 2 seasons with 7,914 (Manning had 7,874 in his first 2 seasons). In week 17, Luck broke Cam Newton's record for yards passing in the first two seasons of a career, with 8,196 yards (Newton had 7,920 yards) in a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Luck played his first career home playoff game on January 4, 2014, against the fifth-seeded Kansas City Chiefs. After the Colts fell back by 28 points, he led a historic comeback, capping the game with a 64-yard touchdown pass to T. Y. Hilton to take the lead for the first time, 45–44. The Colts defense would then deny Alex Smith a chance to get Kansas City within field goal range to end the game. Luck completed 29 passes for 433 yards and 4 touchdowns, in addition to recovering a fumble for a key touchdown, to record the second-biggest comeback in NFL playoff history and the largest comeback to end in regulation. This game was ranked #1 on NFL.com's Top Games of 2013. The Colts lost to the New England Patriots 43–22 in the divisional round of the playoffs the following week. Luck threw for 331 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions.
Luck was named to his second Pro Bowl on January 19, 2014, replacing Russell Wilson. He went on to be taken first overall by Deion Sanders.
Opening the season with his second game against his predecessor, Peyton Manning, Luck passed for 370 yards and 2 touchdowns with 2 interceptions. After rallying from a 24-0 deficit following halftime, the Colts fell short of the comeback and lost to the Broncos 31-24. In a Week 2 loss against the Eagles, Luck threw for 3 touchdowns, passing Jim Harbaugh for fourth on the Colts' all-time list. Looking to avoid losing three consecutive games for the first time in his career, Luck completed 31 of 39 passes for 370 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Jacksonville Jaguars to win 44–17 in Week 3. He was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance, the third time he has won the award.
In a Week 4 win against the Tennessee Titans, Luck became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 370 yards or more, 4 touchdowns, and have a completion percentage 70 percent or above in consecutive games. He would continue his winning ways in Week 5 against the Baltimore Ravens, throwing 312 yards with a touchdown pass, as well as 1 rushing touchdown, to win 20–13. Luck would record his fourth-consecutive 300 yard game on Thursday Night Football against Houston. Indianapolis jumped out to a 24–0 lead after 1 quarter, and would hold on to beat the Texans 33–28. Through Week 6, Luck had thrown for 1,987 yards and 17 touchdowns, leading the league in both, and establishing career-highs through 6 games.
Luck continued his excellent play in Week 7 against the Cincinnati Bengals, passing for over 300 yards for the 5th consecutive game, tying the Colts record set by Peyton Manning. He would finish the day with 344 passing yards and 2 touchdowns, as Indianapolis defeated the Bengals, 27–0. The shutout victory was the first for Indianapolis since a 23–0 win over the Tennessee Titans in December 2008. Luck broke his single-season touchdown mark in the Colts Week 9 game against the New York Giants, throwing 4 to bring his total to 26. He also became the first quarterback in 2014 to reach 3,000 passing yards. In Week 13, Luck threw a career-high 5 touchdown passes in a 49–27 win over the Washington Redskins. In addition, he also became the first quarterback to reach 4,000 passing yards in 2014. On December 4, Luck was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for November. In the month, Luck passed for 1,280 yards, 12 touchdowns, and had a quarterback rating of 112.0. Entering a Week 14 matchup with the Cleveland Browns, Luck needed only 81 yards to surpass Peyton Manning for the most passing yards by a quarterback in their first 3 seasons. Luck passed for 294 yards to take the record, and engineered a fourth-quarter comeback by throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass to T. Y. Hilton to win the game 25–24.
After a Week 15 win against the Texans, Luck successfully led the Colts to the playoffs for the third straight year. Along with the division title, Luck also earned his third straight Pro Bowl berth. In Week 17, Luck broke Peyton Manning's franchise record for passing yards in a single-season. In addition, he became the 8th quarterback in NFL history to throw for 40 or more touchdowns in a single season. In the Colts' Wild Card match against the Cincinnati Bengals, Luck completed 31 of 44 passes for 376 yards and 1 touchdown, leading the team to a 26–10 victory. He then went on to complete 27 of 43 passes and throw for 265 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions in a 24-13 Indianapolis victory over the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional round. In the AFC Championship, Luck and the Colts fell to the New England Patriots, 45–7. Luck was also the league's leader in passing touchdowns for the first time in his career.
In the Pro Bowl, Luck was Team Carter's starting quarterback. In the game, he completed 9 out of 10 passes, with 119 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
On April 9, the Colts announced they had picked up the fifth-year option on Luck's contract, which will pay him a guaranteed $16.55 million in 2016. In Weeks 4 and 5, Luck missed the first two games of his career with an injured shoulder. Backup Matt Hasselbeck played in his place and led the team to a 16–13 overtime win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, followed by a 27–20 Thursday Night Football victory over the Houston Texans. Luck returned to the lineup on October 18 in a 34–27 loss to the New England Patriots. On November 2, Luck led the Colts back from a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime against the Carolina Panthers, but his third interception of the game helped lead to the Panthers' three-point win. On November 10, it was announced that Luck would miss 2–6 weeks with a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdominal muscle, suffered during the fourth quarter of the Colts 27–24 win over the previously undefeated Denver Broncos two days prior. However, the recovery process took much longer than expected and Luck did not return for the rest of the season. The Colts would fail to make the playoffs for the first time with Luck, ending the season 8–8. He was ranked 92nd by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.
On June 29, the Colts announced Luck had signed a six-year extension worth $140 million, with $87 million guaranteed, making him the highest paid player in the league. In a 41–10 win over the New York Jets in Week 13, Luck passed for 278 yards and four touchdowns, which earned him the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award. In the 2016 season, Luck threw for 4,240 yards and 31 touchdowns, and a career-high 63.5 completion percentage, despite missing one game due to a concussion. Shortly following the 2016 season, Luck underwent surgery to repair an issue with his right (throwing) shoulder that had been lingering since 2015.
Following surgery on his shoulder during the off-season, Luck was held out of training camp and the preseason, also missing the first few games of the season.
Source: NFL3× Pro Bowl (2012, 2013, 2014)
NFL passing touchdowns leader (2014)
AFC Offensive Player of the Month (November 2014)
3× AFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 9, 2012; Week 7, 2013; Week 3, 2014)
3× Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week (Week 3, 2012; Week 5, 2012; Week 8, 2012)
Most passing yards in a single game by a rookie quarterback: 433 (vs Miami Dolphins) (11/4/12)
Most passing yards by a rookie in a single season (4,374)
Most game-winning drives by a rookie quarterback (7)
Most fourth quarter comebacks by a rookie quarterback (7)
Tied for most fourth quarter comebacks by a quarterback (7)
Most passing yards for a quarterback through his first 2 seasons (8,196)
Most passing yards for a quarterback through his first 3 seasons (12,688)
Most passing yards for a quarterback through his first 5 postseason games (1,703)
Most consecutive 350-yard passing games on the road (5)
Fifth highest passing yards total in a playoff game (443) (Wild-Card game against the Kansas City Chiefs on January 4, 2014).
First quarterback to throw for 350+ yards in five consecutive road games
First quarterback to throw for 370 yards or more, 4 touchdowns, and have a completion percentage 70 percent or above in consecutive games
Third player to throw for 3,000 yards in the first nine games, alongside Peyton Manning and Drew Brees (twice)
Most passing yards in a single season (4,761, 2014)
Most passing yards by a rookie quarterback in a single season (4,374)
Most passing yards by a rookie quarterback in a single game (433)
Most pass attempts by a rookie quarterback in a single season (627)
Most pass completions by a rookie quarterback in a single season (339)
Most pass completions by a rookie quarterback in a single game (31)
Most passing touchdowns by a rookie quarterback in a single game (4)
Highest passer rating by a rookie quarterback with a minimum of 100 attempts (76.5)
Highest interception percentage by a rookie quarterback with a minimum of 100 attempts (2.87)
In March 2012, Nike, Inc. signed Luck to its roster of athletes.
In September 2013, Luck became a partner and investor in BodyArmor SuperDrink.
On June 17, 2012, Luck graduated from Stanford with a bachelor's degree in architectural design and received the Al Masters Award, an honor given to an athlete each year, "for the highest standards of athletic performance, leadership and academic achievement." He has stated that his favorite musician is Bruce Springsteen. An avid reader, Luck has become known as "the Colts' very own librarian", giving and suggesting books for his teammates; in 2012, he said his favorite book was Henri Charrière's Papillon, and he is a fan of Bernard Cornwell's historical fiction. On the field, Luck perplexes his opponents with comments that may or may not be trash talk: when he is knocked down, he is in the habit of congratulating his opponent on the hit. After a hit by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan that caused a fumble and sent Luck scrambling for the ball, he was not able to congratulate Kerrigan right away and had to wait until later in the game "to tell Kerrigan how great he was doing". Kerrigan's reaction was later captured, "You want to say thank you but then you say 'wait a second--I’m not supposed to like you!'"
Luck appeared on the comedy series Parks and Recreation as himself alongside teammates Reggie Wayne, Anthony Castonzo, Robert Mathis, and Adam Vinatieri during the show's sixth season.