If you look at page 31 of the 2006 Louisville Football Prospectus, you will see a small picture of quarterback Brian Brohm -- and you might notice he looks like another quarterback, a more famous quarterback.
|Brian Brohm's career passing percentage of 68.4 is a school record. (Getty Images)|
And another thing jumps at you when you're talking about Brohm in relation to Favre -- the way the Louisville junior-to-be is recovering from surgery on the ACL in his right knee sounds like something the ever-tough Favre would do.
No, Brohm isn't being asked to do what the Packers great had to do in college -- a car accident in July, removal of 30 inches of intestines in August and then QB-ing an upset of Alabama in September -- but this kid is well ahead of schedule in his comeback from Dec. 5 surgery.
"It's amazing how hard he's worked on it," Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino said. "Right from the get-go, he was in the trainer's room 2-4 hours a day. There was a lot of pain he had to endure."
But he did it -- and it paid off.
"Right now I'm doing real well," said Brohm. "I'm out there running with the team, doing the side-to-side cutting. ... I'm pretty much back to normal. I have a few things left to do to get a little bit stronger, but right now I'm pretty much normal."
He has been close to normal for some time now. Heck, he doesn't even feel anything when he wakes up in the morning.
"The thing that amazed me," said Petrino, "was how much work he was able to do in spring practice."
Brohm, injured in a game against Syracuse on Nov. 26, was told his recovery would take six to nine months. He quickly got a jump on that -- and then shocked his coaches by doing just about everything in spring camp, even working in 7-on-7 and some blitz situations.
"They were trying to be real positive when I went in there," he said, looking back. "They thought it would take anywhere between six and nine months to get back at full strength. They said after the surgery that it went real well and they thought I'd do good, so that gave me the confidence.
"They really didn't know how long it takes -- they said it varies between the different people, so they just said six to nine months. I knew it would be a long, tough process, and it was."
Never having faced a major injury, Brohm didn't know what to expect. He did know the arthroscopic procedure that left "five little puncture holes" in his knee would make things easier for him than the old-fashioned incision.
"Probably for about a month now I've been waking up pain-free," he says. "Before then, I'd wake up and be stiff, had to move around a little bit, get warmed up, but right now I wake up and I can't tell the difference between either knee."
Brohm, whose career completion percentage of 68.4 is a school record, was in the middle of a hot streak as he headed down the stretch of his sophomore season. In the three games before Syracuse, he was 64-for-87 for 865 yards and five touchdowns. Then, as he was scrambling in an attempt at a first down, a "horse-collar" tackle with his foot planted near the right sideline did him in. He heard a pop and knew he was in trouble.
His season was over.
"The hardest part was going down to the (Gator) bowl game, something you work the whole season for, and not being able to play in that game," he says. "That week down there in Jacksonville was probably the toughest week to go through mentally. I tried not to feel sorry for myself. I've tried to focus on getting better, focus on getting back to where I was, focus on next season and being able to play."
When camp opens in August, he expects to be ready to lead his high-powered offense to the Big East title that slipped away last year. Oh yeah, there's always a chance at the Heisman.
"I think he will be (ready)," says Petrino. "That's what the goal is. He's still wearing a brace, and there will come a point he'll have to take that off. But we're anticipating him to be good."
And he might be even better because of this experience. He has toned his body while recovering. He appreciates the frailty of knowing it can all end in one game -- and he'll probably be wiser when it comes to getting out of bounds (although Petrino said there was no time for that on the play on which Brohm was injured).
"This makes you realize it can all be done with in one snap," Brohm says. "It makes you realize you have to go out there and play as hard as you can every play and not hold anything back, not be scared to get hurt, not be scared to make the play.
"One snap, it can all be over and you can be back in rehab, back out for the season -- or out for longer than that."