Brandon Teamer was becoming "known" as they say, from further back than the date he made his pledge to become a Husker. Heck, to get offered a scholarship to be a Husker, you have to be good, damn good at what you do. With that comes a little fame. With that comes a little notoriety and before you know it, people treat you a little different. Maybe even a little special.
Brandon felt that to a degree prior to committing to Nebraska, but since that time, it's been even more pervasive. "People are sort of treating me like I am real high right now." Teamer stated. "I don't really understand it. "I don't know what they see. Maybe it's the potential, but I am just really trying to take it in and stay humble." An interesting if not enviable dilemma for Brandon as he has fulfilled what many have, but far more have not. A Nebraska kid, becoming a Nebraska high school star and subsequently becoming a member of Nebraska's largest institution. The challenge to be modest in the face of that might in some aspects be larger than the challenge just to play.
With all Nebraska kids that becomes those Nebraska high school stars, it's not inevitable that they become Huskers, but it's expected. Even in the face of players that went elsewhere, each standout football player in this state is automatically given the title of "future Husker". Some take that with eagerness, only waiting for the time when they can take the "tunnel walk", play home games in the "sea of red" and be an official part of the Husker tradition. Some don't. With that ever-possible factor in play, some fans do wonder if any Nebraska standout would actually consider another place. Teamer (for a bit) actually did. "Since Colorado gave me the first look, they really got good consideration from me." Brandon stated. "But, me not becoming one (a Husker), there wasn't too much of a chance, because I have been watching the Huskers so long, just dreaming of a chance to play."
A brief state of insanity some might call it, but a definite realization of one's options, one's evaluation of the big picture. That being said, Teamer's big picture kept coming up red and Brandon eventually made the commitment. Some future Huskers describe that moment as one of pure joy and some simply describe it as a relief. Teamer chose the latter. "A lot of players don't get to know where they are going until the end of their season." Teamer said. "Now, I can go into this season and just worry about playing real hard and playing good."
A question that I may or may have not asked before kept entering my mind. That being, when (if ever) does a young man look at a game of the college he is going to be playing for and not envision himself playing in place of that team's current starter at this young man's position, but as a player that will be doing just what that player is doing at that moment. Knowing that soon, that will be you. Knowing that instead of Clanton, Lohr, Peter or Warren, it will be your name the fans will see and your name the announcers will be calling. What would that feel like? "I have thought about that and I have been to games and thought about me being out there in front of those fans." Brandon said. "I mean, you can't get much better fans that this. All those sellouts, all that red. It's amazing."
As for Brandon's own perspective as to putting himself in the game, he actually has. Brandon has actually seen his name and his number on the field at Memorial, in front of the Sea of Red on gameday. How? "I was looking at the video game, NCAA 2003 and I have played there (Memorial) now. I have seen how the stadium looks and everything." I would imagine that the actual experience of playing in front of almost 80 thousand real fans is a bit different, but for the sake of argument, we'll give Brandon some early experience. Yeah, Brandon has his number on the jersey and yes, he has his name on it as well, but the big question here is, "Are you any good?". "Well, I am just getting started, so it's all pretty new."
That newness to that video game could be a metaphor for the newness he might feel when he steps on that field for the first time, albeit a little more tangible and maybe, just a little more exciting. But some things will be similar. From the moment that switch is turned on, Brandon will think of how many tackles he wants, how many sacks he will try to get. Brandon will establish goals such as statistics, awards and championships. In the real world, those goals are less, but not because of a lack of ability, it's probably more-so because those trying to stop you are a whole lot bigger than on the machine.
Of course, goals are there for Teamer. Goals he has as to what impact he truly wants to make and unlike the game where it's just him, he is firmly in the mind-set of the team. "Early on, I don't plan on receiving much playing time." Teamer stated. "It would be nice, but if it's best for the team, that's what matters. I just want to play hard and do what I need to do to help the team."
To that end, Brandon expects of himself and is expected by all those that recruited him, to help and help a lot. A certified "big man", standing 6 foot 5 and weighing in around 265, this kid's a load for any offensive lineman to deal with. Measurements aren't everything though and the numbers that dictate the physical mass you bring along with the strength you bring it with, isn't always going to say whether you have "it" or not. What coaches look for are other things, some coached, some just part of what makes that particular player. Brandon talked some about what coaches stated they saw in him and a little of what he sees in himself. "Coaches say that I have real good balance." Teamer stated. "They say that you usually have to teach big men, balance and they said that I am real good on my feet and have a real natural stance. I feel like my speed off the line is a strength for me to, but I play hard. You may screw up here or there, but if you go all out, you might be able to create some things for yourself on the field."
Brandon has created something for himself; an opportunity. It's an opportunity to wear a jersey that he dreamt of wearing as a kid, that he envisioned himself wearing while playing ball as a high school freshman and it's a jersey he actually dawns as he takes the field with a controller in hand. The control will be his again as the reality of what Brandon does becomes even more real the day he actually pulls that jersey over his head.