CRAWFORD | Pass picks Cards over Auburn, Alabama -- what it coul - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Pass picks Cards over Auburn, Alabama -- what it could mean

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Jawon Pass pauses before announcing his college choice Thursday afternoon. Jawon Pass pauses before announcing his college choice Thursday afternoon.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The news was all good for the University of Louisville football program on Thursday, when four-star quarterback Jawon Pass stepped to the microphone at Carver High School in Columbus, Ga., and announced that he has chosen to play for the Cardinals next season.

Pass chose Louisville over Auburn and Alabama.

And if you don’t think that second sentence is more important than the first, at least for now, you’re missing the big picture.

There’s a lot of time between July and National Signing Day in February. I’ve written these stories before. Quite often in big-time college recruiting, a player’s commitment only means it's time for other schools to intensify their efforts. Talk to me when the signature is on the letter of intent. Talking about Pass' impact on Louisville's quarterback situation next season is premature before he becomes a part of it.

Talking about his decision's impact on U of L recruiting now, however, is not. Bobby Petrino has seized some momentum -- which is some of recruiting’s most valuable currency -- while at the same time answering any questions that might’ve lingered over whether he can recruit at the highest level.

Pass, a 6-5, 220-pound dual-threat quarterback, said he chose Louisville because he wants to learn a pro-style system, and because his brother, Kahne, already has joined the Cardinals’ program.

Pass was the highest remaining uncommitted quarterback in the 2016 class. He’s rated among the top 200 players nationally, and had a long list of offers that include many of the top programs in college football: Ohio State, Florida, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Penn State and others. And he represents the highest-rated recruit Petrino has signed in his second stint at Louisville. He’s the No. 104-rated player by 247Sports and No. 186 by ESPN.

During his ceremony at the school, Pass said Louisville, “just was where my heart was at. I just felt like Auburn wasn’t going to prepare me for the next level.”

Cam Newton might beg to differ. But be that as it may, Louisville, which already has a crowded quarterback competition with five scholarship players this season, now has commitments from Pass and three-star QB Tyler Odin for next year. 

It'll take someone of Petrino's sophisticated offensive ability to sort through all that.

Regardless, this is a signature commitment for Petrino and his staff. It brings immediate value for Louisville as a chance to show other elite players that it is a viable option against the very best programs in college football. Victories on the field are important, of course. Everybody remembers the Fiesta Bowl, or the Sugar Bowl. But victories in recruiting are even tougher to come by. It's one thing to get a player the big boys have passed over. Louisville has made a living on that -- check out last season's NFL Draft. But to get one that they wanted is a different thing altogether, and an important step.

It also has to provide some adrenaline for Petrino's staff. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham continues to build major inroads into the state of Georgia with his contacts, and assistants L.D. Scott and Garrick McGee were key in the recruitment of Pass.

With a program preparing for its second season in the Atlantic Coast Conference and trying to recruit in more competitive circles, Petrino has now laid some impressive Cards on the table.

The presence of Pass’ brother in Louisville would seem to protect the program to a degree from a change of heart, but there are no guarantees.

What his commitment does guarantee is more recruiting exposure for Petrino and Louisville, and a chance to use his commitment to open a few more doors, perhaps, than they might have gotten into before.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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