At this point of his life, Gino Torretta didn't expect to be a stockbroker for Prudential Securities or even a college football analyst for ESPN2.
"I expected to be playing in the National Football League for a good long time," Torretta says.
Torretta, 30, thought he had the goods. After all, he led the University of Miami to the college football national championship in 1991 and won the Heisman Trophy - the sport's most coveted honor given to the nation's best football player - in 1992.
But the NFL apparently had another idea.
Even though Torretta had a great college career, throwing for more yards and completing more passes than such great Miami quarterbacks as Bernie Kosar and Vinny Testaverde, NFL coaches did not believe Torretta had the capabilities to be a successful pro quarterback. He wasn't drafted until the seventh round in the 1993 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Usually, Heisman Trophy winners get snagged in the first round.
"I wasn't the fastest quarterback around, nor did I have the prettiest passing touch, but I always found a way to get the job done," Torretta says.
He didn't get much of a chance to do the job in the NFL. Torretta built up more frequent flyer miles than completions, bouncing around from the Vikings and the Detroit Lions to the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.
In the four years Torretta was in the NFL, he never started a single game. He threw just 16 passes, completing five of them, one of them for a touchdown.
"I felt I'd be good enough to stay in the NFL for 10 years," Torretta says. "I still feel that way. But sometimes in life, you don't control your own destiny. That's one of the reasons I like this business. You control how much you make, how many clients you want, which clients you want and how you want to deal with them."
Torretta graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He was fascinated with the brokerage industry. And when a friend bet Torretta that he couldn't pass his Series 7 exam, Torretta told him, "Just watch this."
Torretta passed and joined Prudential's Miami branch in 1997.
Meanwhile, Torretta was cultivating another interest in becoming a football analyst. While he was being interviewed during his football career, he made his intentions known to several TV producers.
"Being a Heisman Trophy winner certainly didn't hurt," he says. Later, he auditioned with ESPN and landed the job.
So on Thursdays during the college football season, Torretta takes off from the office and flies to the game he is assigned to broadcast for ESPN2 on Saturday night.
"I love it," he says. "It keeps me involved in the best game in the world. There's nothing like college football - the atmosphere, the excitement, the fans and going to different stadiums all over the country. To me, it's unparalleled. I couldn't be happier."