February 6, 2012

Brewer the next big thing?

Texas Tech football won't have a quarterback controversy this season according to offensive Neal Brown, but even with two quarterbacks transferring and starter Seth Doege going into his senior year the future is looking pretty good.

Red Raider quarterback Michael Brewer, a redshirt freshman who enrolled early last year, has developed very nicely during his 12 months on campus.

"He looks a lot better," Brown said just after being on camera with RedRaiderSports.com's Chris Level and Aaron Dickens on Lubbock's Fox 34's Signing Day Special TV program. "Joe Walker. Walker has done a good job and his staff has done a good job. He's put on 25 pounds since he's been here and I think he's grown a little bit also.

"He's ready. He's ready to push Doege and ready to prove that he's the next guy."

Brewer was a proven winner in high school. At Austin Lake Travis, a high school that just won its fifth-consecutive Texas Class 4A State Championship in December, Brewer won two State Championships at quarterback and another one prior to that as now-SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert's receiver.

At 6-feet and 182 pounds upon the completion of last season's fall camp it was clear Brewer still had some work to do in the weight room if he is to take the pounding Big 12 Conference defenses will give him week to week.

With sophomore quarterback Jacob Karam and redshirt freshmen quarterback Scotty Young having a couple of years of seniority on Brewer could afford to redshirt and spend a significant amount of time in the weight room on the weekdays while traveling with the team for road games to get a feel for Big 12 football on Saturdays.

But time's up.

Both Karam and Young have elected to leave the Red Raider football program.

Karam opted to transfer to Memphis after receiving his degree in three and-a-half years when it became clear he would back up Doege during his junior campaign and face stiff competition from Brewer in 2013. Young had already been effectively supplanted by Brewer, has quit the football team and will transfer from the university at the end of the spring semester.

So Brewer almost automatically becomes the No. 2 quarterback in favor of junior walk-on Brant Costilla in spring football and then Abilene (Texas) Cooper quarterback Clayton Nicholas will become the No. 3 gunslinger upon joining the team this summer.

There are a lot of things to like about Brewer now and in the future as he further develops into a college quarterback.

Tech appears to be interested in exploring dual-threat quarterbacks in the future between recruiting guys like Wichita Falls (Texas) Rider quarterback J.T. Barrett and Southlake (Texas) Carroll's Kenny Hill. Brewer could be the first step in that direction.

While Brewer's intangibles are of the Tech prototype that we have seen the past 12 years in Lubbock, he possesses a little bit more of a dual-threat aspect than any other Red Raider quarterback this century. At Lake Travis, Brewer had 743 rushing yards mostly in the red zone his senior year and scored 26 touchdowns on the ground.

Between those skills and massive steps forward between his redshirt freshman and freshman season, Brewer could be the next big thing to come from Tech a year from now as a sophomore.

"Doege is obviously our starting quarterback," Brown said. "We want Michael to push him an if Michael can push him and take the job, he takes it. We're going to play the best one. But again, Doege is coming off a year where he threw 4,000-plus yards, won some big football games and didn't get a whole lot of help down the stretch. Doege is a guy we're excited about and I think he and (Oklahoma's) Landry Jones will be the best returning quarterbacks in the league."

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