ESCONDIDO — The comparisons between Sean and Brett Salisbury are inevitable. They're brothers. They're both quarterbacks. Sean starred at Orange Glen High School several years ago. Now Brett is a senior at the same school.
People expect Brett to duplicate the feats of his older brother, who, after graduating from Orange Glen in 1980 went on to USC and now starts for the Trojans. And that puts a lot of pressure on Brett, who has emerged as Orange Glen's starting quarterback.
"It's tough for Brett," Jeff Carlovsky, Orange Glen coach, said. "When Sean went to USC, people expected Brett to be another Sean. Brett wants his own identity.
"He's not another Sean. I don't even want to compare them. They're two different types."
Maybe so, but Carlovsky considers Brett a major-college prospect. In Orange Glen's opener against San Marcos Friday, Salisbury completed 14 of 18 passes for 190 yards and 2 touchdowns and ran for 2 more, leading the Patriots to a 42-7 victory.
Shades of Sean.
"I'm a different person, I'm not trying to be like Sean," said 6-foot 3-inch Brett Salisbury. "I want my own identity. I want to make people think Brett can play quarterback."
Last year, Salisbury did play some quarterback, but was the backup to starter Jonathan Mitchell. Salisbury threw for 200 yards and just one touchdown. Free safety was Salisbury's primary position. He had six interceptions and was an All-Palomar League selection.
But quarterback is where Salisbury has always wanted to play. The position became vacant when Mitchell graduated, and this past summer, Salisbury put all his efforts into winning the job. He embarked on a rigorous conditioning program, and was a participated in a passing league.
That work has reaped him huge dividends.
"He's got the capability to do it (play well) every week," Carlovsky said. "If he keeps having performances like this, he's got a chance to be the best quarterback in the Palomar League.
"Brett has an understanding of the offense and reads defenses well. And he's a cheerleader out there. When a guy makes a good block, he's the first one to commend him."
The last person to compliment Salisbury is Salisbury. No one can accuse him of having a big ego, not even after Friday's performance.
"I've got to learn a lot at quarterback," Salisbury said. "I'm not all that great at DB, either. I've got to learn both (better)."
Carlovsky said he doesn't plan to use Salisbury in the secondary much this season, unless it's absolutely necessary.
"Brett will play defense in key situations," Carlovsky said. "Wherever we need him, he'll play. And if he hurt his arm, he'd play wide receiver."
But being just a quarterback suits Salisbury fine. He believes his future is in throwing to receivers, not trying to stop them.
"I don't think I have the speed, and I'm not that good of a hitter," Salisbury. "I don't think I have the ability to play DB at a major college. A lot of other kids are quicker, stronger and better than me."
Maybe so, but not many are more versatile. Salisbury is also a starter on Orange Glen's basketball and baseball teams. In fact, he might even be a better athlete than Sean.
"Brett's not like Sean in that he's not a drop-back passer," Carlovsky said. "He's more versatile, more mobile. Brett is an added threat for us. He can tuck it in and go (run with the ball). We didn't have that last year."
After the football season ends, Salisbury will have to decide where he'll go to college. Does he aspire to follow his brother and become the next USC quarterback?
"I don't think I want to go to USC," Salisbury said. "My parents and I have talked about it. I think I really want to go to BYU."
Attending BYU or any school other than USC would be one way to avoid future comparisons between Brett and Sean. However, Brett doesn't try to keep the fact that Sean Salisbury is his brother a secret.
"Sean helps me more as a person and a player than anyone," Salisbury said. "I go to his USC games and learn a lot from him. I'm proud to be his little brother."
Orange Glen High School
Height, Class: 6-foot, 3-inch, senior.
Last Week: Completed 14 of 18 passes for 190 yards, 2 touchdowns, also ran for two touchdowns.