Two Louisville Draft Picks To Join Spitz


It happens rarely, if ever - a player being reunited with a former college teammate in the NFL.

But in Jason Spitz's case, he's suddenly being reunited with two.

The Packers drafted a pair of Spitz's former Louisville teammates in this past weekend's draft, quarterback Brian Brohm in the second round and fellow offensive lineman Breno Giacomini in the fifth round.

The rookies will be here this weekend for their rookie orientation camp, which won't include Spitz, a third-year pro. So the former Cardinals will have to wait until OTAs in mid-May for their first official on-field workout together.

But Spitz already has his own ideas for what the rookie orientation can include this weekend.

"I talked to Brian, and I offered that he could either cut my grass or wash my car," Spitz said. "He kind of laughed, thinking I was joking."

And Breno?

"I'll let Breno slide for now," Spitz said. "All the offensive linemen, we're going to get on him enough during the year."

Spitz's idea of "rookie orientation" aside, all three Louisville guys are excited about being together again. Spitz, a third-round draft choice in 2006, was a senior when Brohm and Giacomini were sophomores. The Cardinals went 9-3 that year, losing to Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl without Brohm, who was out with a knee injury.

That year, 2005, was Brohm's first of three as Louisville's starting quarterback. Spitz recalled that the year before, Brohm came in during the second quarter of most games to gain game experience, and then took over the starting job when Spitz was a senior.

Back then, Brohm knew his place, understanding he was the young gun and letting the upperclassmen handle being the leaders.

"He was kind of quiet actually," Spitz recalled. "He was a sophomore then so he didn't say much, and there were a couple older guys on the offense that really ran the show. He did his thing and he always had a professional approach to the game, and he did a good job."

But Brohm began to show the leadership skills that would serve him well, and Spitz wasn't surprised at all he became such a highly touted pro prospect his final two years at Louisville.

"You could see in Brian's eyes and the way he led the offense that he had 'it', Spitz said. "He was always composed, he never lost his cool, and he came to work every day. You had to respect that.

"He was a pretty good quarterback, but you could tell he was going to make something of himself."

Spitz didn't play as much in games with Giacomini, who was mostly a reserve tight end in 2005 and just beginning to make the transition to tackle on the offensive line, where he played this past season.

{sportsad300}But Spitz could see Giacomini had the mentality to be an offensive lineman, and for that reason Spitz thinks he'll fit in well in Green Bay.

"I know he's got a good work ethic, and he's got a nasty side, which is very important for playing tackle," Spitz said. "He goes to the whistle, sometimes past the whistle. You need to be tenacious to play this position.

"He's got a lot of upside. Obviously he's pretty raw just playing the position for a year, but he'll be a pretty good player one day."

Maybe moreso off the field than on, Spitz figures his former teammates will look to him for advice as they begin their professional careers. He's certainly willing, but he knows nothing he says or does will help guarantee a spot on the roster.

"I think it helps to know someone on the team, because it's such a tough transition going from college to the NFL," Spitz said. "They have each other, obviously, but they'll also have somebody who's been on the team and been through it a couple years now.

"I'll be able to give them guidance, tell them what to look for, what not to look for, but on the other hand, they're both grown men, and they have a job to do now."

Including mowing grass or washing cars, perhaps, in addition to learning the pro game.

"I saw those guys kind of grow up as players, and I'm proud of them," Spitz said. "I'm glad to see they've made something of themselves, and now is where the real work begins. It's time to go prove yourself."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content