Getting a Helping Hand

Jacoby Brissett wasn't ready for the overwhelming process of recruiting. So when one of the best quarterbacks in Florida needed advice, he turned two former Dwyer athletes that know the process, and Wisconsin, quite well. The results have Brissett focused on finding the right spot.

MADISON - Dwyer High quarterback Jacoby Brissett remembers the moment when football became more than just a fun thing to do after school.

Coming home after football practice his freshman year, the 14-year-old Brissett got a call from his coach saying that he had a college scholarship offer, whatever that was.

"I didn't know what a college offer was," he admitted.

Things have certainly changed for Brissett for the past two years. A talented two-sport athlete in football and basketball, Brissett has football offers from Boston College, Florida International, Florida State, Rutgers, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

On the basketball side, Brissett said Clemson Miami, South Carolina, Xavier and West Virginia have offered.

"It's an overwhelming experience because when you start out playing football, you are just playing because you love the sport," Brissett told Badger Nation. "With college coaches coming to see me every week and calling my phone, you can't put it into words."

With the overwhelming process, Brissett is lucky to have two former Panthers that have gone through the recruiting process differently. Cornerback Robert Clark committed to the Mountaineers in July but continued to take visits, including one to Madison. Clark eventually switched his verbal to Florida after a visit in December.

Senior linebacker Jaevery McFadden, who graduated from Dwyer in 2004, wasn't highly recruited, but took his visits, stayed patient and committed to Wisconsin a couple weeks before signing day.

"That's probably the best thing about it (having those guys), because recruiters come down and look at Robert and start recruiting me," Brissett said. "He's told me about stuff to look for and stuff that I should worry about. The biggest thing Jae told me is to keep my head on straight, and that I am going out to play football to have fun, and not worry about the coaches or anything else."

It was evident that Brissett took that advice to heart. Leading Dwyer to the Florida Class 4A State Championship, Brissett passed for 1,463 yards with 19 TDs and five interceptions, including adding 296 rushing yards.

A big athlete that lines up at quarterback that shows nice touch and good mobility out of the pocket, Brissett's play earned him a Second Team All-State selection at quarterback for 4A classification.

"It was probably the most fun I had playing football last year than my previously three years together," he said. "I got more playing time and everybody was looking up to me from the players to the people in the school. It's a lot of pressure, but I like the pressure." In addition to his scholarship offers, Brissett is gaining steady interest from Florida, Georgia, Miami, LSU and Tennessee, schools he says have given him a verbal offer.

"I am interested in every offer I have," he said. "It's a privilege having a coach come in and tell you that they want you to be a part of their program."

One of those schools he's interested in is Wisconsin. Not only has Defensive Coordinator Dave Doeren – who is good friends with Brissett's head coach – come to watch him, Head Coach Bret Bielema and Wide Receivers Coach DelVaughn Alexander have come to the school and watched his highlight tape.

"They talked to me like I was already a part of the program," Brissett said. "It's a good school. For a head coach to come down and say, ‘(Dang), I've never seen a quarterback make that throw before.' He told me that I have to be doing something good, and that meant a lot."

The key now for Brissett is figuring out what sport he wants to play at the next level. Brissett admitted to thinking about playing both sports in college, which would require him to switch to either a receiver or defensive back. Wisconsin currently has 13 total scholarship available for its 2010 class.

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