Posted: 6:23 am Friday, April 30th, 2010
By Jason Lieser
In the pursuit of Dwyer QB Jacoby Brissett, there’s the one recruiting advantage North Carolina’s football team has over everybody else: North Carolina’s basketball team.
It has always been Brissett’s dream to play basketball, his first love, at North Carolina and if the Tar Heels can guarantee him a legitimate chance to play on the basketball team…
“He would jump on that,” Dwyer coach Jack Daniels said.
“When I told him he was offered by North Carolina for football, he lit up, which I hadn’t seen him do. He’s always talked about playing basketball for North Carolina, so if that’s his way to get in there…”
Brissett (6-5, 225, No. 6 on The Big Board) has football offers from several schools, including West Virginia, LSU, Florida State and Wisconsin. Xavier, South Carolina and Miami are among the schools with basketball offers.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because I wrote about it a month ago — minus North Carolina’s surge into the chase. The Tar Heels have offered him, but as of now, it is only for football.
Brissett said he is no closer to making a decision than he was six weeks ago. He has not ruled anything out, including giving up either football or basketball permanently.
His preference, though, is to do both. If North Carolina offered that opportunity, Brissett will have a difficult time saying no.
“It’ll play a big part in it,” Brissett said. “That’s my favorite basketball school and that’s what I told the coach. I’ve been a North Carolina fan since I was growing up. That’s going to play a big role.”
Brissett has spoken with offensive coordinator John Shoop and coach Butch Davis. Shoop stopped by Dwyer on Tuesday to watch him throw.
Daniels said Brissett needs to be cautious when football coaches promise him a shot at the basketball team. They might tell him he can split time between the two sports when they are trying to sign him, but that arrangement could change once he arrives on campus.
“I think whatever school gives him the football scholarship is going to say, ‘Yeah, you can play basketball, but 80 percent of your time is going to be on the football field,'” Daniels said. “They’re going to give him the option with nothing to do but fail. It means you won’t be putting in the time you need to be productive in that sport.
“I still believe that his ceiling in football is a lot higher than in basketball, but you can’t make somebody do it. I’ve seen a lot of guys from this county pick basketball and not (make it), where they could have been an NFL football player. It’s Jacoby’s call.”
Daniels also said there is no chance of Brissett committing to a school this spring.
Brissett led Dwyer football to its first state championship last year. During the regular season, he completed 62.4 percent of his passes for 1,463 yards and had 19 touchdown passes against five interceptions.
On the basketball court, he shot 42 percent from the field and averaged 15.2 points, 7.5 rebound and 3.4 assists per game as a junior. He helped the Panthers to the state final four each of the past two seasons.