Dwyer's Brissett picks basketball over football ... for now
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
by Jeff Greer
As Florida sweats through its spring football practice, one of the Gators' top recruits, Dwyer quarterback Jacoby Brissett, remains in basketball mode.
Brissett, who is a star guard on Dwyer's nationally ranked basketball team, has been working out on his own and studying Florida's new playbook. But he's also returned to the basketball court to prepare for Dwyer's nationally televised game against Nevada's Findlay Prep at 4 p.m. Thursday as part of the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational in Bethesda, Md.
Brissett sat out the Palm Beach All-Star Basketball Game earlier this month, but not by Florida's request, as previously reported. He has the green light to play in Maryland.
"They don't really say anything about that," Brissett said. "I can still play because I'm still in high school."
Though he has shown interest in playing both sports at UF, this could be Brissett's last competitive basketball game.
Brissett will arrive on campus in June and plans to hit the ground running. He'll have some work to do to catch up to the players who already have enrolled, including Jeff Driskel, a freshman quarterback who will battle Brissett for future playing time.
"I have my workout that I do and I've got the playbook to read," he said. "The only thing I'm missing is being there every day with (UF offensive coordinator Charlie Weis) and getting his coaching, but I'm not worried about that."
New Gators coach Will Muschamp said Brissett will be on equal footing with other freshmen.
"Just like anybody else, if he comes in and he's the best player at his position, he'll play. He'll start," Muschamp said. "We're going to play the best players. We're going to play the players that give us the best opportunity to be successful and win football games. He will be given every opportunity in the world."
Dwyer (32-1) was one of eight boys teams invited to the national basketball tournament, which will be televised on the ESPN networks Thursday through Saturday. It will be the second time that a Brissett-led team will be on national TV.
The Dwyer football team lost 26-22 to Cleveland Glenville last September in a game that included several late disputed calls by officials.
"It won't be like (the football game) this time," Brissett said, laughing. "This is more for fun. There's less pressure. We just want to have a good showing and play like we know we can."