Brohm may be best high school QB out of Kentucky

Kentucky is better known for its basketball prowess, but over the years, has turned out some outstanding high school football quarterbacks, too — Paul Hornung, Phil Simms, Chris Redman and Tim Couch.

Now some believe that the Bluegrass State has outdone itself with the latest offering — Brian Brohm at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds from Louisville Trinity.

Some longtime observers of the state's high school scene are calling Brohm, who has guided Trinity to back-to-back Class 4-A state titles, one of the best quarterbacks the state has ever produced.

"There's only a handful of guys you can put in the class with Hornung, Redman and Couch," says Bob White, who has covered high school sports at the Louisville Courier-Journal for more than 40 years. "But without a doubt, Brian is in that group."

Hornung, the former Heisman Trophy-winner, goes a step further, saying Brohm is the "best high school football quarterback ever from the state of Kentucky, period."

"It's nice being compared to all those great players but I still have a year of high school left," Brohm says. "I just want to keep going and make it the best (season) possible."

Brohm, who has a father and brother that were standout quarterbacks, was on the cover of Sports Illustrated last fall for a story about multisport athletes. Analyst Tom Lemming says he's the best quarterback prospect in the nation.

"The thing about Brian is that he's not infatuated by all the hype," says Trinity coach Bob Beatty. "He knows he has things to work on and he works hard every day. He's going to get bigger and stronger and I think he's only just begun."

Brohm was born to be a quarterback. His father, Oscar, was a standout quarterback at Louisville Flaget High and went on to star at the University of Louisville when Lee Corso coached there. His oldest brother, Greg, was a star receiver at Trinity and Louisville, and another brother, Jeff, was the 1988 Kentucky Mr. Football at Trinity and led Louisville to a Liberty Bowl victory his senior year. He went on to play seven years in the National Football League and one in the XFL.

"Everything he has done was designed to get him to a point," says Oscar, whose daughter, Kim, was a three-sport standout at Spalding College in Louisville. "I guess in flag football we could tell he was going to be pretty good."

Brian Brohm started playing flag football in the first grade and his team was the only one that was passing at the time. With his family one of the most respected in the state's football circles, there was tons of hype before the youngest Brohm entered high school.

He was an instant hit when he stepped into he spotlight as the starter during his sophomore season and passed for 3,082 yards and 39 touchdowns with just five interceptions as Trinity won the Class 4-A state title.

Veteran coach Bob Redman of Louisville Male says his son, former Louisville and current Baltimore Ravens starter Chris Redman, saw young Brohm at an early age, when he was refereeing a peewee game.

"Chris came home and said 'Dad, you've got to see this kid who was playing quarterback,"' Bob Redman says. "He said this kid could turn out to be better than all of us. And he was right on. This kid is special. He deserves all the accolades he gets."

Brohm topped his sophomore season last fall by throwing for 3,777 yards, 47 TDs and just one interception and the interception came in a driving rainstorm. In fact, nine of Trinity's 15 games last season were played in sloppy conditions.

Brohm is 29-1 as a starter and came up huge in two big games as a junior. He threw for 380 yards and four TDs in a 44-20 win over eventual Ohio Division I state champion Cincinnati Elder and was 19 of 25 passing for 552 yards and seven TDs in a 59-56 victory over Male in the state final. He also rushed nine times for 52 yards and one TD in the title game.

"That was an amazing game," Brohm says with a smile. "I've watched it a few times because when you do something like that you want to try and copy it."

Brohm will now try to somehow better the stats from a year ago and help his team become only the sixth team to ever win more than two straight titles in Kentucky. His season got off to a rough start last weekend when Trinity, which was No. 4 in USA TODAY's preseason Super 25, lost 17-13 to Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville) in its opener. Brohm completed 35 of 52 passes for 448 yards and one TD but was sacked six times and intercepted once.

"There are a lot of expectations and a lot of hype," Oscar Brohm says about the season. "But Brian has been dealing with it for so long, that doesn't bother (him). He just wants to keep winning."

Then it will be time to pick a college — and Brohm will have his pick.

Louisville, where brother Jeff is the quarterback coach; Kentucky, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Illinois, Alabama, Auburn, Purdue and Iowa have offered him scholarships, while Miami (Fla.) has been in contact with the family.

"I have a lot of options," Brohm says. "It's going to be a tough decision for me to make. I'm really open. I have a list but anyone can move in and out of it. Right now, I just want to work hard and have a good senior season."

And keep his place in the fraternity of the state's elite group of quarterbacks.