Sophomore Jacoby Brissett is in a neck-and-neck battle with Jeff Driskel for the prestigious starting quarterback job at Florida.
But before Brissett arrived on UF’s campus, he was a two-sport star. A former high school basketball standout, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Brissett was rated a two-star prospect by ESPN.com at shooting guard, good enough to play at the Division I level. ESPN.com rated Brissett as the 85th overall prospect in the Class of 2011 and 23rd best shooting guard.
Florida coach Billy Donovan recruited Brissett in high school and said he would welcome him on the team. But Brissett said he never talked to Donovan about walking on. The reason? Brissett wanted his sole focus on football in an effort to win the starting QB job.
“(It’s) a big sacrifice,” Brissett said of giving up basketball. “This is what I see in my future, so I just have to tough it out.”
Asked if he could see playing basketball again in the future, Brissett said, “Only if Southwest Rec Center is open.”
Brissett said he’s played at Southwest Rec Center on campus a few times, including some games against current UF basketball players.
“I played against them once or twice,” Brissett said. Asked how he did, Brissett said with a smile, “I scored.”
The last Florida athlete to play football and basketball in the same season was Cornelius Ingram, who spent the 2004 season playing both sports before turning his focus to football. Adam Allen played both basketball and baseball at Florida in 2008 before encountering knee problems that curtailed the rest of his career.
Former Gator receiver Nyan Boeteng wanted to play both football and basketball when he arrived at Florida, but that idea was quickly nixed by former Gator coach Urban Meyer. In a later interview, Meyer said that he wanted Boateng to establish himself academically before entertaining the notion of playing two sports.
Here’s a look at some of Brissett’s highlights in high school, including a basket over Austin Rivers.