From the Halls of Trinity (Patrick Crush)
"> From the Halls of Trinity (Patrick Crush)

BIG EAST 'big factor' in Brohm's decision

Had the University of Louisville not joined the BIG EAST conference last fall, chances are Brian Brohm wouldn't be playing for the Cardinals next fall. <p> <B>COMPLETE RECRUITING COVERAGE:</b><br><li><a href=""><b>From the Halls of Trinity (Patrick Crush)</b></a><br>

Had the University of Louisville not been extended and accepted an invitation from the BIG EAST conference last fall, Trinity quarterback Brian Brohm would probably be headed to Notre Dame, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois or some other BCS-affiliated program.

"Not as strongly," Brohm admitted when asked if his interest in Louisville would have been the same if they were still members of C-USA. "I don't think I could see myself going somewhere where there's not an opportunity to at least compete for a national title and be in a BCS conference. I don't think I could play anywhere that wasn't in a BCS Conference. So it was a big factor."

With the date of the Cardinals move to its new conference still undetermined but looking more likely to occur in the fall of 2005, Brohm says regardless of when the move actually occurs it's fine with him.

Brohm couldn't turn
down the chance to
lead Petrino's program
into the BIG EAST

"Either way, they'll be in there by the time that I'm playing in my most significant years," Brohm said. "I would like us to be in next year but if it doesn't happen, that's fine. I know they'll be in there in 2005 so it's alright."

Now that the recruiting process has come to an end, Brohm's decision is certain to leave coaches like Rich Brooks, Phil Fulmer, and Ty Wilingham disappointed in the outcome. But that doesn't mean those coaches, among others, won't be calling to make sure the 2003 USA Today Offensive Player of the Year is firm in his decision.

"I'm almost certain there will be more calls coming in from other coaches just to see if I'm sure where I'm going," Brohm said. "And I'll tell them that I am."

Besides the opportunity to lead Louisville into the BIG EAST, Brohm also said U of L's offensive system, his comfort level with both the players and coaches, and the chance to learn and develop under Bobby Petrino, a former offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars and his brother, Jeff, a former U of L and NFL quarterback, played major roles in why he chose to stay home.

"I want to be somewhere I can learn how to play and excel at quarterback to ultimately enhance myself and go to the next level and go to the NFL," Brohm explained.

In the few days leading up to Brohm's announcement on Tuesday, rumors began to circulate out of Tennessee that Fulmer and the Volunteers had emerged as the frontrunner in the waning days of the star signal callers recruitment.

However, Brohm's interest in Tennessee all but ended after his official visit to Knoxville in December.

"You could say that," Brohm confirmed. "After that visit I realized it just wasn't for me. Tennessee was a nice place with nice coaches but I just really didn't fit in well down there. I just didn't feel comfortable going there."

One surprisingly strong team on Brohm's final list was Louisville's in-state rival, Kentucky. Sources close to Brohm say the Wildcats were viewed quiet favorably during the recruiting process by the Brohm family.

"I think they're great coaches," Brohm said of Kentucky's staff. "I really liked Rich Brooks and the coaching staff and the way they're going. It was a tough decision to make."

But in the end, despite some thought of stepping out of his family's history at U of L, the allure of playing for the school he grew up cheering for and where his father, Oscar, and brothers Jeff and Greg starred was too much for even the heavyweights of college football to overcome.

"Sometimes I thought about that," Brohm confessed of breaking ranks with his family history at U of L. "But it will be nice to try to surpass what they accomplished [at U of L] and prove that I can be a little bit better than them."

Coming off a 9-4 season in Petrino's first season, and led by a suprisingly excellent effort from senior-to-be quartback Stefan LeFors, Brohm will now focus his attention to preparing for his chance to compete for the starting nod at quarterback in his first season at Louisville.

"Coach Petrino said I would have the opportunity to come in and compete with Stefan for the starting job," Brohm said.

And you can rest assured Brohm's committment will lead to an unending wave of questions about last season's star signee, Michael Bush, and whether or not he'll return next season to Louisville or decide to move on and play quarterback elsewhere.

Can Michael Bush and
Brian Brohm coexist
together at U of L?

And despite rumors that Bush will leave now that Brohm is headed to Louisville, the 6'3, 250 freshman has been hosting U of L recruits the past two weekends and sources close to last year's Mr. Football insist he'll remain at U of L.

As for Brohm, he said he hasn't spoken with Bush since that memorable championship game in 2002 but says he'd love to team with such a talented performer.

"I have not," Brohm answered when asked if he had spoken with Michael Bush since last season's state championship. "He's a great player and it would be great to play with him."

So now that suspense has subsided and the football world knows where Brian Brohm is headed next fall, the quaterback says he's just happy the process and all that entails is over.

"It was a long process and it was really tiring on me to be hearing everyone's opinions and questions," Brohm explained. "So now it will be nice to have it over with."

Brohm's father, former U of L quarterback Oscar, concurred.

"You have to realize it was not an easy decision because he liked all the coaches of the final four," his father, Oscar, explained. "They all offered different positives, so it was a difficult decision."

"I'm proud of him and he's probably surpassed anything we could have ever hoped for," the elder Brohm said.

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