Quarterbacks like Connor Brewer don’t just grow on trees.
Not too many put up the high school numbers that the Scottsdale, Arizona native has — 2,677 yards last season with 37 touchdowns. Few are as accurate as he is — Brewer completed 67 percent of his passes in his junior season. And only a few quarterbacks are ranked higher than him — he’s either third best in the nation according to ESPN, or fourth best, according to Rivals.
For all of these reasons, Texas fans should be thrilled that Brewer is one of 18 to give a verbal to the Longhorns for their top-ranked 2012 recruiting class.
But here’s what should make them even more excited: for as hard as he works on the field, Brewer is doing even more on the recruiting trail.
“We have to get the best players to be a great program, and that’s what we have been doing,” he said. “As a quarterback you need to do anything to make your team around you good.”
So Brewer has spent his summer in contact with some of the nation’s best recruits, letting them know just how good life is as a Longhorn.
“I feel it’s my job to get guys here,” he said. “I’m recruiting them hard.”
Brewer got the ball rolling on this year’s class when he gave Texas a verbal commitment February 7, the first to do so. Since then, national standouts such as Johnathan Gray, Cayleb Jones, Kennedy Estelle and Malcom Brown (Brenham’s defensive tackle that shares the same name as the incoming running back) have joined the fray.
“Connor and I understand the importance of playing with great players,” said Jones, Austin High School’s standout receiver who is helping Brewer lure top talent to Austin.
Andrus Peat and Nelson Agholor, both five-star recruits, have been on Texas’ radar for quite some time, so it’s only natural that Brewer has chipped in to help. Peat is scheduled to visit Austin in a couple of weeks to check out the campus and facilities, and Brewer is trying to join him, on his own dime no less.
“I’m not quite sure if I am yet. I have some conflicting high school stuff, but I know Andrus will love Texas when he sees it,” he said. “I can’t wait to see him up there.”
Peat, a big offensive tackle from Tempe, took to Twitter Tuesday night, calling Brewer “the best recruiter in the world.”
It is understandable that a quarterback would want good linemen to protect him and good offensive weapons around him, but this goes beyond that. It seems that Brewer is more intent on changing the culture of the Texas program — younger, better and more enthusiastic. At Nike’s The Opening, a summer showcase of the nation’s top recruits, he was the ringleader of the future Longhorns that made their own shirts — grey tees with “TexasGang or Die” spreading across the chest, with an orange Nike swish underneath.
“Oregon was awesome. All of us bonding was great, it was like we were already a team,” Brewer said. “Those shirts are just a fun thing that brings us together.”
So how did the Longhorns land this renaissance leader, their first out-of-state quarterback since Chris Simms?
Easy: good luck and good timing. Brewer’s older sister Ashley is a sophomore-to-be on the women’s swim team, which could be the biggest indirect assist to Mack Brown since Ryan Perriloux chose not to sign, opening the door for some guy named Colt McCoy.
“Ashley told me she loved Texas and that it was the best place in the world,” Brewer said. “But she let me make my own decision.”
That aspect was a bit easier once Boise State’s offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin made the parallel move to Texas.
“I was in contact with coach Harsin a little bit after my sophomore season. It definitely opened my eyes to Texas when he went there, because he is such a great coach,” Brewer said. “Our relationship built up a lot.”
With what appears to be a logjam at his future position — what with Garrett Gilbert, Case McCoy, Connor Wood and David Ash — one would think that Brewer might have been a bit turned off by the crowded two-deep.
“Not at all,” he said. “There is going to be competition everywhere I go. I’m going to work my hardest to achieve the starting job.
Printed on 07/14/2011 as: Brew's Crew, 2012 quarterback Connor Brewer is selling recruits on Texas