SOUTHINGTON >> Composure is something Southington quarterback Jasen Rose prides himself on. And, before announcing one of the most difficult decisions of his life, composure is something the 6-foot-3 All-State signal-caller was exuding.
He walked Thursday from the front of Southington High with a group of friends laughing and joking, into the school library where television cameras were being set up and photographers were capturing his every move.
All of his teammates filled in behind him with family off to the side, none of whom knew which school — UConn or Syracuse — Rose was about to commit to.
Well, except his father.
“I told my dad last night, but my family now is just hearing it here live. ‘I’m sorry about that,’” Rose said after he announced he was committing to UConn.
He stayed composed enough to not let the decision slip, even to his own mother, who gave him a joking glare after that comment.
Rose was one of the most coveted Class of 2016 prospects in the state, especially after his impressive 2014 campaign where he threw for 3,190 yards (10th most in state history) and 47 touchdowns (second most in state history) to lead the Blue Knights to their second straight Class LL state championship.
“He’s a great football player, a tremendous talent; multi-talented,” Southington coach Mike Drury said. “On top of that he’s a great teammate; he’s a tremendous worker on and off the field. He’s the type of kid that does the right thing, listens to you and is really coachable.”
Rose thanked everyone for their support throughout the recruitment process, but couldn’t thank his head coach enough.
“Coach Drury was a big part of it,” Rose said. “He came to my house, sat down and talked about colleges. We talked about who to eliminate, what I liked where, what coaches I liked, what university I liked. A lot of this couldn’t be done without coach Drury.”
Before the announcement there were a couple phone calls Rose had to make. The first was to Bob Diaco, the head coach of the Huskies. And one can assume Rose was his typical composed self even while Diaco was his usual excitable self.
“It was tough to understand him, because he was yelling,” Rose said. “He was pretty excited.”
Many factors went into Rose choosing UConn over Syracuse. “They’re one of the top business schools in the country and that’s what I’m looking to major in, so that made it pretty easy that way,” Rose said. “I love the campus, I love the stadium, I love all the football complexes, so UConn just seemed like the right fit.”
The other phone call Rose had to make was to Syracuse coach Scott Shafer. “He was pretty upset,” Rose said. “But UConn and Syracuse face off next year — I think the fourth game at Rentschler — so he said, ‘I’ll see you then.’”
Rose and Southington are currently riding the longest winning streak in the state at 21 games.
The Blue Knights host Hartford Public tonight.
“It’s definitely a relief, now we just get to focus on the 2015 season with Southington,” Rose said. “No more college stuff, it’s just high school now.”
— Jay Rose (@JayRose1010) September 17, 2015