Brotherly love won out over championships.
Carver, Ga. dual-threat quarterback Jawon Pass committed to attend Louisville ahead of offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State and plenty more, calling his decision to play for the Cardinals a, “No brainer.”
“Auburn can’t prepare me for the next level. I felt Louisville could,” Pass said during his commitment ceremony at Carver High.
Entering Thursday, it was widely predicted that Pass would choose between Alabama and Louisville, where his older brother Khane Pass, is a freshman safety. Louisville had gone to rather elaborate lengths to recruit both brothers, with the ESPN photoshop you see below just one example:
At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, there’s no wonder why programs across the country would be excited about Pass. He’s a physical specimen, and one who can really throw the ball. As a junior he passed for 2,153 yards, 28 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while running the ball 55 times for 398 yards and 9 touchdowns. He’s ranked as one of the top-5 dual-threat quarterbacks by each recruiting site, and is the highest-rated recruit that Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino has landed since he returned to the school from Western Kentucky. And there’s no question that Khane Pass’ presence on campus was a major factor in his brother’s decision.
“They’re connected at the hip and the head,” the boys’ mother, Kershena Thomas, told Gannett partner the Louisville Courier-Journal. “They are extremely close. I thought Jawon was going to need counseling when Khane left (for college).
“The fact that they’re so close and Khane is already there, that gives Louisville a big advantage over anyone else. … Jawon is loving the (U of L) program anyway, (but) that’s the big plus for them. Jawon will say that’s not the main thing, but I think it is.”
A program like Alabama can certainly absorb the setback of losing a top player like Pass, though that won’t necessarily make it easier for Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban to swallow. According to both Pass and Thomas, he spent a significant amount of time with Pass in a one-on-one setting, and he and his staff invested hours upon hours in selling the merits of Alabama’s program to the Georgia native. That late push made Pass decision a true toss-up, to the point that even his mother questioned where he would go as of Thursday morning.
In the end, there was one thing Alabama couldn’t offer Jawon Pass: his brother. And that may have been what inspired Pass to become a Cardinal, along the road to even higher goals: