HE'S another of those welcome examples that the road to success leads through persistence, confidence, and parental help, in addition to talent. Besides, selection of quarterback Doug Flutie as winner of this year's Heisman Trophy as the top college football player is an encouragement to youngsters everywhere. He's a standout of average stature in an era when athletes seem to be prized only if they have the shoulders of an ox, the height of a giraffe, and the feet of a greyhound.
Professional football scouts like quarterbacks to be about 6 feet 4, half a foot taller than Flutie, so they can see the whole field more easily. As Flutie, like other average-size quarterbacks before him, has shown, what difference does it make if they can get the ball to their receivers? One wag noted Flutie ''grew five inches'' in the experts' estimation, on the afternoon after Thanksgiving, by completing a last-second pass half the length of the field to bring his team an improbable victory.
Those who've long known him must have been less surprised. Doug and his brothers played sports year-round, honing skills and anticipating success. Their father patiently coached, and both parents gave strong support. Family and friends became used to expecting Doug to succeed; he expected to as well. Quite as much as the skill involved, the expectations led to success.
It is a lesson to apply in other areas of life's experiences, too.