Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns inked their 2011 recruiting class less than one week ago, and Texas is already off and running with a great start to the 2012 recruiting season.
Scottsdale Chaparral quarterback Connor Brewer has become the first commitment of the Longhorns' class after picking up an official scholarship offer from the Texas coaches on Sunday afternoon.
The 6-2, 185-pound Brewer spoke with Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin prior to Sunday's Super Bowl and was informed at that time that Texas was extending a scholarship offer. After spending some time talking things over with his family and his high school coaches, Brewer put in a call to Harsin and Mack Brown on Monday evening to make his commitment official.
"He called about an hour ago, called coach Brown and coach Harsin and said he's proud to be a Longhorn," said Brewer's father, Robert.
On Monday, Brewer also picked up scholarship offers from LSU and Auburn. He held previous invitations from schools like Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Nebraska, Tennessee and Texas A&M, but the scholarship from Texas had a different feel.
"Those are all great programs. But then you get that gut feeling that this is the right place for me, this is the place that I want to spend the next four or five years of my life," Mr. Brewer said. "It's good quality people, we really like the integrity and character that coach Brown instills in his players. It was just a great opportunity."
As a junior, Brewer helped lead Chaparral to its second consecutive state championship, throwing for 2,677 yards and 37 TDs against just 6 INTs. He did it running an offense that could look similar to what Texas will run under Harsin. Two years ago, the Chaparral staff spent some time in Boise going through the Boise State offense with Harsin, and Chaparral implemented a modified version of the Boise State offense into its program.
"He really hit it off with coach Brown and coach Harsin," Mr. Brewer said. "He'll really fit in with coach Harsin's offense. I think a lot of things that are Connor's strengths will fit in there. The type of offense Harsin runs was a big factor."
Brewer took an unofficial visit to Texas in late January and was able to spend some time meeting with the Texas staff. He was told then that a scholarship offer could be coming, and Brewer was leaning strongly towards accepting it when the offer became official. When he got the call on Sunday, he wasted little time.
"My mind was pretty much made up. I had a meeting with my head coach and my parents today," Brewer said. "We pretty much came to consensus that this is the place for me. I don't want to be anywhere else. Playing for coach Brown and coach Harsin is going to be an honor."
Despite the interest from programs all over America, Brewer said he could find no other team that offered what he believed he could achieve at Texas, both on the field and in the classroom.
"It was definitely the atmosphere that the coaches brought to me and showed me. That made it an easy decision for me," Brewer said. "I couldn't think of one bad thing, one place I'd rather go than Texas. I love the coaches and academic and sports wise, I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather go."
Brewer, whose sister is a freshman on the Texas swimming and diving team, is a guy that the Texas coaches are hoping will spearhead yet another strong recruiting class. The Horns' 2011 recruiting haul ranked third nationally.
"It is absolutely an honor (to be the first commitment). Like coach Brown kind of told Connor, 'We want you to be the leader of this recruiting class. We think you're a great way to start the recruiting class out. We'd like you to be the first one and be very active in helping recruit other people.'"
Brewer is ready to do just that, starting with his scheduled junior day visit on February 26.
"I'm a Texan now and I'm a Longhorn," Brewer said. "That's the only school I'm looking at. I'm done with recruiting. I'm going on to try to win my third straight title and continue to do the things that helped me get to this point. I'll try to be the best quarterback I can be.
"It's a big honor to come play for Texas, especially being an out of state kid. I'm just going to be focusing now on my season, try to get some people to play with me over at Texas and try to make this the best recruiting class I can."