For star Torrey Pines athlete, a football future in Berkeley
By Rob LeDonne
Jul 10, 2018 | 5:00 AM
According to local resident Paul Driscoll, his son Brian has loved football since he learned to walk. “Growing up, he was always asking me to have a catch,” says Paul of Brian, who just wrapped his junior year at Torrey Pines High School. “We used to have a trampoline with a big safety net around it. I would throw a football over the safety net and he would jump up and make one-handed catches.”
Since those early days playing catch on the family’s trampoline, Brian has parlayed his passion for football into a successful run as part of the Torrey Pines High School Falcon squad, of which he’s stood out as a clutch offensive tackle. His talent on the field has caught the attention of everyone from the website 619Football.com (which named Brian the top offensive lineman in San Diego) and the University of California at Berkeley, which recently made Brian its first offensive lineman recruited out of the class of 2019.
For Brian, the success he’s accumulated shouldn’t be a surprise since he immediately took to playing varsity at Torrey Pines when he was merely a freshman at the school. “It wasn’t really tough to get into the swing of things on varsity,” he explains of the initial ease of his transition. “ Not only do we have an incredible coaching staff that is amazingly supportive, but I had already played Pop Warner and Little League so I already knew and was friends with more than a dozen guys on the team.”
Along the way for Brian’s ride (the highlight of which has been when the Falcons defeated La Costa Canyon at their own stadium to win the league championships in a 41-9 trouncing) has been his father Paul who serves as the organization’s lead parent volunteer.
“I am extremely proud of what Brian has been able to accomplish,” says Paul, who started playing football as a kid growing up on the East Coast and parlayed his own passion into a stint playing for Columbia University in New York. “In his first game as an 8-year-old, he caught a 15-yard pass and then ran 60 yards for a touchdown. Over the seven years that he played for Torrey Pines Pop Warner he was a two-way starter even though he was playing with kids one-to-two years older than him. You never know how playing youth football will translate into high school, but for him it's worked out great because he works so hard at it.”
“It’s great having him be involved with the team,” says Brian of his dad. “He has always coached me in every sport I played before high school, and just to have him involved with football is great.”
When it comes to leaving both his father and perch at Torrey Pines next year, Brian says the opportunity is “a little scary,” but chose Berkley because of it’s impressive stature in both athletics and academics. “It’s one of the best universities in the world and its close to home,” he says. “It’s an incredibly rare opportunity to play division one football and to receive a world-class education. To be able to attend a school where I could get both is the opportunity of a lifetime.”
According to Paul, whatever success Brian has had on the field pales in comparison to what’s really important. “I'm more proud of the incredible young man that Brian has become. He is respectful, humble, and kind.”