Pro-Player Spotlight: Jacoby Brissett


(Photo Credit via ESPN)

Brandon Lawrence, Editor

Jacoby Jajuan Brissett is an American football quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League . He played college football at Florida before transferring to NC State, and was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. As a member of the Patriots he won Super Bowl LI over the Atlanta Falcons as a backup to Tom Brady, and was traded to the Colts the following season. Originally meant to serve as a backup to Andrew Luck, Brissett ended up starting 15 games for the Colts in the 2017 season due to Luck being injured, and threw for over 3,000 yards and 13 touchdowns; he returned to his backup role the following year. Following Luck’s retirement prior to the 2019 season, Brissett became the Colts full-time starting quarterback.

Early years
Brissett attended William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. ranked him as a four-star recruit and the third best dual-threat quarterback in his class. He committed to play college football at the University of Florida in February 2011.

College career
As a true freshman at Florida in 2011, Brissett was a backup to starter John Brantley. In October, he started his first two career games, after Brantley was injured. His first career start came against number-one ranked LSU. He threw for 94 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the 41–11 loss. Overall, he appeared in eight games, completing 18-of-39 passes for 206 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions. Entering his sophomore season, Brissett competed with Jeff Driskel for the Gators starting job. On November 17, he started the opening game against Bowling Green. However, Driskel was the starter for the rest of the season. Brissett started his second game of the season against Jacksonville State after Driskel was unable to play due to injury. Overall, he appeared in five games, completing 23-of-35 for 249 yards and a touchdown.
Brissett transferred to North Carolina State University in January 2013. After sitting out the 2013 season due to transfer rules, Brissett took over as the Wolfpack’s starting quarterback for 2014. That year, he passed for 2,606 yards with 23 touchdowns and five interceptions. As a senior in 2015, he passed for 2,662 yards and 20 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Professional career
New England Patriots
Brissett was selected by the New England Patriots in the third round with the 91st overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was the fifth quarterback to be selected that year. He was the only player selected in the 2016 draft who declined to hire an agent. On June 16, 2016, Brissett signed a four-year rookie contract with the Patriots.

Brissett played in his first regular season game on September 18, 2016, after starter Jimmy Garoppolo left the Patriots’ Week 2 game against the Miami Dolphins after suffering a shoulder injury. The Patriots were leading 21–0 at the time, and Brissett finished the game completing 6-of-9 passes for 92 passing yards as the Patriots won 31–24. The next week, Brissett made his first career start against the Houston Texans, completing 11-of-19 passes for 103 yards and carrying the ball eight times for 48 yards including a 27-yard touchdown run in a 27–0 victory. He became the first African-American quarterback to start for the Patriots. Brissett injured his thumb in the game against the Texans, but started the following week in a 16–0 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Because the Patriots needed a roster spot for Tom Brady after Brady’s Deflategate suspension had ended, Brissett was placed on injured reserve on October 7, 2016, after having thumb surgery. The Patriots activated Brissett from the injured reserve list; he began practicing on November 30, 2016, and was activated to the 53-man roster on December 21, 2016. He was inactive for all of the Patriots’ remaining games, including Super Bowl LI, which the Patriots won 34–28 over the Atlanta Falcons.

Indianapolis Colts
2017 season
On September 2, 2017, Brissett was traded to the Indianapolis Colts for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett; the Colts had needed another quarterback after Andrew Luck suffered an injury. On September 10, 2017, Brissett made his debut with the Colts, relieving starting quarterback Scott Tolzien in the fourth quarter, and completed 2-of-3 passes for 51-yards as the Colts lost to the Los Angeles Rams 46–9. The following week, he earned his first start with the Colts and threw for 216-yards against the Arizona Cardinals. After a 13–13 tie in regulation, Brissett threw an interception to Tyrann Mathieu in the first play of overtime, leading to an Arizona Cardinals 16–13 victory.

On September 24, 2017, Brissett had two rushing touchdowns and completed 17-for-24 for 259 yards and a touchdown during a 31–28 victory over the Cleveland Browns. This marked his first victory and passing touchdown as a member of the Colts. During a Week 5 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, Brissett completed 22-of-34 pass attempts for a career-high 314-yards and an interception, as the Colts won 26–23. In the victory, he also contributed a rushing touchdown. In Week 9, against the Houston Texans, he had 308 passing yards and two touchdowns in the 20–14 victory. After a six-game losing streak, Brissett had 114 passing yards and a touchdown in the regular season finale victory over the Texans. Overall in the 2017 season, Brissett had 3,098 passing yards, 13 passing touchdowns, seven interceptions, 260 rushing yards, and four rushing touchdowns. The Colts finished the 2017 season with a 4–12 record.

2018 season
Brissett returned to the backup role in 2018 with Luck returning from his shoulder injury. In Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles, with the Colts down 20–16 with seconds left in the game, Brissett replaced Luck to attempt a Hail Mary pass from his own 46-yard line. He overthrew several players in the back of the end zone and the Colts lost the game. The move was questioned by some journalists and fans, and led to some speculation about the health of Luck’s shoulder, although head coach Frank Reich and Luck both said it was purely because Brissett had a stronger throwing arm. In a Week 11 win over the Miami Dolphins, Brissett was brought in and completed a 4th and short throw to Luck, who was lined up as a receiver. Overall, in the 2018 season, Brissett appeared in four games.

2019 season
Brissett was set to be the Colts’ backup quarterback heading into the 2019 season. However, on August 24, 2019, two weeks before the start of the 2019 regular season, Andrew Luck abruptly announced his retirement. Colts general manager Chris Ballard confirmed in a subsequent press conference that Brissett would be the full-time starting quarterback going into the season. On September 2, 2019, Brissett signed a two-year, $30 million contract with the Colts, with $20 million guaranteed. He was previously in the final year of his rookie contract and was set to make $2 million for the season.

In Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers, Brissett threw for 190 yards and two touchdown passes to T.Y. Hilton in a 30-24 overtime loss. On September 15, 2019, Brissett led the Colts to a 19-17 win over division rival Tennessee Titans with three touchdown passes and one interception. In Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons, Brissett threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns, as well as completing his first 16 pass attempts, as the Colts won 27-24.

In week 7 against the Houston Texans, Brissett threw for 326 yards and 4 touchdowns in the 30-23 win. The Colts have an easy layup in the game against the broncos on the 27th. This would push them to 5-2 and a serious contender for playoffs if they keep the momentum that has built.