Brother Rice pursues playoff football glory

Jeff Snow wants all-state high school football fans to keep one thing in mind as the five-week playoffs enter their second week.

Don't count out Birmingham Brother Rice just yet.

The Warriors finished the regular season at 6-3, perhaps subpar by traditional Brother Rice standards. But it was good enough to qualify for the playoffs.

To open the playoffs last week, Brother Rice defeated Oak Park 20-13. This week, Brother Rice plays at Birmingham Seaholm Saturday in a matchup of 7-3 teams.

Against Oak Park, we played very good all the way around," Snow, Brother's Rice's senior defensive back, said. "We met with adversity. The other team came at us. Our defensive kept up with it. Our defense stepped up with the run. It was a team win."

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Warrior defensive back has also seen action as a wide receiver. A three-year varsity player, Snow said his speed has been coming in handy for Brother Rice.

"That's why I also played wide receiver," said Snow, who has had 20 catches for a touchdown and interception.

As a defensive back, "I improved a lot on how I handled the back-pedal," he said. "While I'm doing that, I can still read the quarterback and know how many steps he'll take. That helps me out a lot."

Brother Rice played in the Division 2 state finals last year but barely qualified for the playoffs this season.

"We could have won more games this season," Snow said. "We never lost two games in a row, which I thought was great. We're happy we won our first playoff game. We can go as far as we want, especially if our defense keeps us in it."

Snow's coach, legendary high school skipper Albert Fracassa, is among those observers who are convinced Snow can go a long ways as a college player. But the Warrior senior said he'll decide by the February signing date where he'll play. Right now, the top schools on his list are Western Michigan University, Indiana University and Towson University.

"I've heard from a variety of other schools, but those are the main ones right now," Snow said, adding that the determining factor will be "the possibility of playing time and how many defensive backs they have in the program."

When his high school career ends, Snow will start the transition to the college level.

"The big thing for me will be watching tapes of the college game and trying to realize how quicker things happen and at different speeds," Snow said. "Knowing what the quarterback and wide receiver do and what the responsibility of the defensive back becomes will be a critical thing for me."

Winning a state championship with Brother Rice would be an obvious thrill for Snow. So would the chance to play college football.

"I thought about college football every since I was big enough to pick up a football," he said.

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