Kass went from trouble to Hawaii

Published 6:23 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2007

By Staff
By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — Slated to start at quarterback for East Carolina when the Pirates were getting ready to face No. 9 Virginia Tech in the season opener, it seemed that Rob Kass had a bright and sunny future ahead of him.
However, Kass was arrested and charged with driving while impaired just days before the season opener. Because of the arrest, Kass, who has a court date next month to face the charges, was suspended.
ECU head coach Skip Holtz was understandably upset and told the sophomore that he would have to work his way back into the team’s favor.
Kass said he leaned on his family and friends for support.
The well-spoken and affable Kass didn’t sulk. Instead, he tried to stay positive throughout practices even though he knew he wouldn’t be playing.
Kass got a chance to play in ECU’s 48-7 loss to No. 5 West Virginia in the fourth week of the season. He attempted three passes, completing two of them, and ran once for seven yards.
A week later, Kass played significantly and led the Pirates to a 37-35 win at Houston. Kass, who threw the first touchdown pass of his college career in the game, has been in the limelight ever since.
Kass, who has completed 95-of-172 passes (55.2 percent) for 1,128 yards and nine touchdown passes, is now viewed as a leader.
He’ll be among the first to take the field at Aloha Stadium on Dec. 23 when the Pirates (7-5) face No. 24 Boise State (10-2) in Sunday’s Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.
One person who has always been on Kass’ side is Patrick Pinkney, who shares the quarterbacking duties. Pinkney, who has clicked on 109-of-181 passes (60.2 percent) for 1,240 yards with 10 touchdown passes, has accepted his role as a part-time quarterback.
Holtz said the maturity of his two quarterbacks has been a key to the team’s success this year.
After his legal troubles, Kass could have easily given up on his dream of being the starting quarterback at ECU. Instead, he helped lead the Pirates to their second straight bowl game.
Thanks to his perseverance, Kass went from the doghouse to the sunny beaches of Hawaii.