After Rob Kass accepted a scholarship offer to play football at East Carolina, his entire family decided to follow him.
Father Dave, mother Julie and their other two children packed up and moved from Longwood, Fla., to Raleigh, a 90-minute drive from ECU.
While the move made tracking Rob's career as a college quarterback easier, it inadvertently had an impact on the athletic program at Millbrook High School.
Rob's younger brother, Brian, has burgeoned into a standout quarterback for the 7-2 Wildcats, also catching the eye of college scouts with his Friday night highlights.
Meanwhile, sister Pamela plays volleyball, and like her brothers, excels in the classroom.
All that, and they weren't even supposed to be at Millbrook: Dave Kass, who played football at Wake Forest, New Hampshire and in the USFL, originally intended to enroll his children at Wakefield.
But before Brian could play a game, it turned out that school boundaries had changed. The Kass family was in the Millbrook district.
Though surprising, it has turned out well for the Kasses and the ‘Cats ... although Wakefield beat Millbrook this year.
“Brian and Pam have had a wonderful experience,'' Dave said. “(And) we are completely acclimated. We plan to retire here.”
Going into Friday's game against Wake Forest-Rolesville, Brian ranks sixth among Triangle passing leaders with 1,558 yards and has netted another 565 yards rushing.
And down the way at ECU, Rob has worked his way back into the quarterback picture and is set to share time with QB Patrick Pinkney against Central Florida Sunday night.
Each Kass brother has had his moments. They've also had their sibling backyard battles in football, baseball and basketball, competing hard, but stopping short of fighting. “It was all good-natured,” said Brian, who got the best of his bigger brother several times.
Their quarterbacking styles are different.
Rob is a 6-4, drop back passer with a strong arm. Brian is 6-1, likes to roll out, throw and run. He has been clocked at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
The brothers talk via cell phone almost daily. When Brian has a hot day passing, he has been known to dial up and say: “Hey, Rob, how many passes did you complete today?”
Rob started seven games for ECU last year and completed 54.9 percent of his passes for 1,164 yards and nine touchdowns.
A certified scuba diver, he re-surfaced this season on Oct. 11, coming off the bench to spark ECU's 30-10 win over Memphis and earn a spot in the Pirates' revived two-quarterback system.
On the field, the brothers are unflappable, with different styles of leadership.
Rob is vocal, Brian more reserved. Yet each in his own way has found ways to get the job done.
Overall, Brian's athletic ability is showcased through versatility.
He could dunk a basketball backwards as an eighth grader. While in Florida, he also played football, baseball and basketball, ran track and competed in weightlifting.
What he hasn't done is play six positions in one football game like his dad did at the University of New Hampshire. But Brian is no longer “Little Kass,” Rob's kid brother.
Rob said: “After the State game this year, fans were coming to me (and saying), “You're Brian Kass' brother.”
Brian, sporting a 3.8 grade point average, is weighing several scholarship offers for football and hopes to make a decision in December.
Rob, an honor-roll student at ECU, is set to graduate in 3 1/2 years with degrees in communications and business.
But his Pirates journey has not been all smooth sailing. He was charged with a DWI Aug. 28 last year before the ECU season opener and drew a one-game suspension.
That's when father Dave called a “sit-down family time” to talk about “making good decisions.”
A repentant Rob recovered, had a solid 2007 season and is making waves again, while Brian keeps humming at Millbrook.
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