Brown: Louisville QB Jack Plummer is a mercenary with a plan — and it just might work

Louisville Courier Journal
Jack Plummer had every reason not to leave California and good reason not to transfer to Louisville. Yet he considers entrusting U of L coach Jeff Brohm with his final year of college eligibility as well worth the risk.
The mercenary arrangement could work out for both parties.
Plummer was part of an overhaul Brohm made by signing 15 offensive players among of the Cardinals' 24 total scholarship transfers. That included seven offensive linemen and five wide receivers, meaning Plummer should get enough protection and be able to deliver the ball to multiple weapons. His presence should help the Cards win immediately.
Louisville's Jack Plummer throws the ball with Offensive Coordinator/Quarterback coach Brian Brohm watches during one of their practices.
August 1, 2023
He's new to the team. But he's already taking on a position of leadership.
“When I came here, I kind of had to be more vocal just because I was the only player on the team that knew the offense so it gave me an avenue to be able to speak to the team and teach,” Plummer said. “… Being my sixth year playing college football, I've seen a lot of football. I think it's valuable for guys who have played a lot to be able to speak up and share their experiences.”
Plummer said former Purdue quarterback David Blough, who’s now with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, served that role for him as a freshman, and he’s glad to pay it forward. But Plummer did not transfer just to be a template for what is expected out of future U of L quarterbacks.
He wants to join Blough as one of Brohm’s former pupils to make it to the league.
“That's the goal. I want to be able to get to the NFL and I feel like I have the intangibles to do that — size, arm strength, accuracy,” Plummer said. “I have the smarts to do it too. I think that's the big thing about playing in the NFL, is you've got to be intelligent. But now I've just got to go prove it this year.”
Plummer was positioned to be the incumbent starter at Cal, where he played in every game last season for the first time in his college career. Although he played four years at Purdue under Brohm, when he finally did earn the starting spot as a senior, he was benched shortly into the 2021 season in favor of Aidan O'Connell. That played a part in Plummer's decision to transfer to Cal.
But now that he's taken advantage of the NCAA’s COVID-waiver for an added year of eligibility, the 23-year-old wants to have the type of season that will make NFL teams notice.
Plummer threw for 3,095 yards with 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions last season at Cal. He only averaged 6.9 yards per attempt. By comparison, Plummer watched O'Connell have his career-best performance under Brohm, throwing for 3,712 yards and 28 touchdowns the 2021 season completing 71.4 percent of his passes and 8.4 average yards per attempt. O'Connell's yards dropped to 3,490 last season with 22 touchdowns.
Despite the decreases, O'Connell went on to become the Las Vegas Raiders' fourth-round draft pick this year. Plummer figured the best way for him to do that was playing in Brohm’s offense at Louisville.
“It's an NFL-type system where you’ve got to know a lot of plays and so I think it gives me the best chance at trying to achieve my goals,” Plummer said.
He knew he probably wasn't going to get to the league by staying for his final season at Cal. The Golden Bears allowed 31 sacks last season, which ranked No. 10 in the Pac-12, and they finished ninth in the league in total offense.
Cal was picked to finish ninth in the Pac-12 preseason media poll this season, the same place it finished in last year’s standings. As good as Plummer is, returning to Berkeley wasn’t going to change that.
California quarterback Jack Plummer is sacked by Southern California defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu. Nov. 5, 2022
Plummer initially took a gamble just from entering the transfer portal after, statistically, having his best season at Cal. When he saw Brohm had taken the U of L job, he didn’t know if there’d be a place on the roster for him or if Brohm already had a quarterback in mind to bring. And he couldn’t even talk to Brohm until officially entering the portal.
Plummer said he found comfort remembering the conversations he had with Brohm when he left Purdue.
“I thought there would be a good chance that he would want to take me whether he'd stayed at Purdue or come to a new spot,” Plummer said. “I was like, ‘Man, that seems like a good situation to play,’ and I'm going to try and test it out.”
Both Plummer and the Cards will find out soon enough if he made a passing grade.

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