Jawon Pass’ hand briefly hovered over the crimson cap bearing the “A” of Alabama. But only briefly.
The four-star quarterback prospect from Carver committed to Louisiville at a ceremony in the school’s auditorium on Thursday, eliciting loud cheers from at least one of the handful of individuals who scattered the room. Pass, a Class of 2016 prospect, will join his brother, Khane, and Bi-City products Traveon Samuel (Central) and Amonte Caban (Smiths Station), who each signed with the Cardinals this past signing period.
Pass said the presence of his brother and other local products helped the school’s chances, but that was far from the only reason for his decision. He chose the Cardinals over Alabama and Auburn, citing the team’s pro-style offense and an opportunity to compete for early playing time. He said the Crimson Tide finished second with Auburn following in third.
“I wanted to go to a pro-style offense, so that I can prepare myself for the next level,” Pass said. “I know I could do great things in Auburn’s offense, but I just felt like I wasn’t going to be as prepared for the next level.”
Pass described Louisville coach Bobby Petrino as “an offensive genius” and said he was excited to play in his and offensive coordinator Garrick McGee’s offense.
At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, Pass has long been considered one of the nation’s premier passing prospects. With an electric arm, good size and better-than-average speed and athleticism, he would have been a good fit for each of the three offenses. All three teams had already had other Class of 2016 quarterbacks commit — four-star Jalen Hurts to Alabama, four-star Woody Barrett to Auburn and three-star Tylin Oden to Louisville — but Pass said that didn’t factor into his final decision.
With other quarterbacks in place as well as one from his own recruiting class, Pass said he will still have to earn his place on the team.
“I want to play right away, but I know nothing’s going to be given to me,” he said. “I just want to come in, work hard and let everything else happen by itself.”
Despite not impacting his final decision, Pass said he was excited to have the opportunity to play with his brother, with whom he has said he has a close relationship. Khane did not try to sway his brother, however, Jawon said.
“He just said to do what’s best for me and he’d be happy with whatever,” Jawon said.
Khane is a defensive back, but Central product Traveon Samuel will be one of the weapons Pass will get to use in college. Samuel was one of the better athletes coming out of high school in the 2015 class, and the mention of having him as a weapon drew a big grin out of Pass.
“We’ve talked about it a couple times,” said Pass, referring to what they may be able to do together on offense. “I just can’t wait to get there, get on the team and get back to work.”
Pass is Louisville’s 13th commitment in the Class of 2016, and certainly the biggest for Petrino since he returned to the school.
Pass will be able to sign a national letter of intent on national signing day, which is Wednesday, Feb. 3.