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The Cardinal Countdown: 4 Days Until Kickoff

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#4 Jawon Pass

Class: Freshman

Ht/Wt: 6-4/207

Position: Quarterback

Hometown: Columbus, GA

Twitter: @Puma_Blessed2

Thoughts: I think Pass has already won the award for ‘most discussed recruit’ in Card Chronicle history. A quick search shows his name being mentioned in over 2,300 articles and over 13,000 (holy crap) comments…and the kid hasn’t played one down of football yet in a Louisville jersey. Of course, some of this is due to the fact that his brother Khane, who was a year ahead of him, started the conversation on his recruitment almost a year in advance of what we would otherwise see. i.e. “If we can land Khane that helps us with Jawon” type chatter. So, if today is the first that you’re hearing of Mr. Pass…where the hell you been, bro?

To the surprise of few, after only three seasons Petrino has managed to catch the eye of some pretty incredible quarterbacks across the country to help lead his offense. Obviously he had some help from his staff, but I think the track record with developing talent speaks for itself at times. Keeping Reggie signed on was big in 2014, getting Lamar in the next class was probably even bigger, grabbing Jawon last year forecasts to be something really big, and already having a top name committed (Cunningham) for next season as well is…you guessed it, big. As we saw with Lamar last year, having someone who other recruits trust to lead their team can pull in other athletes, wideouts, running backs, etc. Getting that ‘king’ of the offense signed on early helps populate the ‘chessboard’ or recruiting class, and is a large piece of building depth for seasons to come. Petrino and Co. are doing that, very well I might add.

Jawon has all the accolades you would expect to see from a big time recruit at the position. Four star prospect, Army All-American, Elite 11 QB participant, one of six QBs across the country picked for ‘QB Flight School’, multiple All-State recognitions, ranked as a top ten QB in the country by various scouting websites, and an offer list that more or less includes every Power 5 program east of the Mississippi. He’s the real deal…and hopefully he never plays a snap in 2016.

Through the Fall Jawon has been pegged as the third string QB and that sits perfectly fine with me. I was hoping going into camp that the coaches would like what they see so far (they do), see the potential in his ability once he learns the offense (they have), but then ultimately say he isn’t better than the two guys we already have (they did). As exciting as it may sound to think Jawon could come in and immediately beat out Lamar or Bolin for the job it would also be somewhat discouraging to think he’s already better than we had in house just a month into the program. We’ve been through the offseason QB battles for what seems like 3 or 4 seasons now, wasn’t it so much cooler knowing who the man was going to be way back in January? I’m not saying the battle is over by any means, as we’ve seen, Petrino won’t hesitate to pull folks who aren’t meeting his expectations. Bolin will push Lamar and no doubt Jawon will push Bolin. In a perfect scenario Lamar lights it up, Bolin excels in relief efforts, Jawon redshirts, and in 2017 we battle it out again and let the chips fall as they may. Doesn’t that QB battle sound better than the Froman v Burke battle of 2010? (No offense, love you guys)

We’ve been talking about him for over 3 years now, one of the highest ranked recruits Louisville has ever pulled, the kid is finally on campus, playing well, and hopefully we have to wait another 370+ days before he ever sees the field. It sounds dumb when you put it like that, but the undertone of that statement is that we are continuing to build depth at the skills positions and Petrino is building a program where players understand that they may not play from Day 1 but that they can come here and legitimately compete for a National Championship.

I can dig it.

Sweet Tweet:

This was a follow up tweet directed at the few hundred fans who made the trek over to go see Jawon start his Senior season while the Cards were down in Atlanta for the Kickoff game last year. The kid has been sold on Louisville for awhile; excited to finally see him wearing Cardinal red, and getting yelled at by Petrino…it’s all real now.