Jacoby Brissett acknowledged he has heard the suggestion more than a few times: Give up football or basketball so that he could focus on just one sport.
Specialization has been a trend in high school sports and rarely does an elite player excel in more than one sport. When Sherwood’s Deontay Twyman was named first-team All-Met in football and basketball during the 2006-07 school year, he was the first player to accomplish that feat since Lawrence Moten at Carroll in 1989 and 1990.
“But my mom told me to keep my options open,” said Brissett, the starting quarterback and point guard for the Dwyer Panthers and heading to play football for the Florida Gators. “I can’t go back on what she said.”
So Brissett, who is 6 feet 5 and 230 pounds, continued to do both. He passed for 2,743 yards and 32 touchdowns this past fall and so far has led Dwyer to a 33-1 record entering Friday’s semifinal against Oak Hill Academy in the National High School Invitational basketball tournament at Georgetown Prep.
“I came to Dwyer to play basketball and I made a promise to my [football] coach that whichever sport I got my first scholarship offer from, I would stick to,” Brissett said.
That offer came from the Boston College football team during his freshman year.
“But even though I made that promise, I wasn’t giving up basketball,” Brissett said.
Eventually, Brissett had basketball scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida, South Carolina and Old Dominion. He chose football at Florida, but the door is open to joining the Gators’ basketball squad as well.
The coaches “said it’s up to me,” Brissett said.