OL Mikal Brewer (profile)
Centennial HS (Peoria, AZ)
Ht: 6-4; Wt: 275
Mikal Brewer is not only one of the most sought-after offensive linemen in the entire country, with a #35 national ranking (in a position group that goes five wide) and offers from top national programs, but he is also one of the most cerebral. You have likely read the comments in other recruiting write-ups about how intelligently he plays, but I am here to tell you firsthand that talking with this young man reveals a truly insightful thinker. Ignore for now his 3.86 GPA, challenging classes and orthopedic surgeon aspirations. Just the way he analyzes questions on the fly and frames his answers bespeaks his active mind.
So maybe it will not surprise you that Mikal has held Stanford as his dream school for quite some time, and indeed submitted his application for admission right at the beginning of the summer, immediately after printing his junior year transcript. In today's world, Stanford admissions does not take applications before a prospective student-athlete finishes their sixth semester of high school, so it is a strong indicator of a high desire to attend Stanford when you see a young man push that application through at the earliest possible moment. We saw that this year in basketball with Tim Morris, and two years before that with Chris Hernandez. We have seen this with May and June applications in recent years for some of the earliest football commitments as well. And in Mikal's case, he has had Stanford's acceptance of his application for close to a month now.
"I am really excited," says Brewer about the acceptance. "This is something I have been wanting for a long time. It is a real relief."
Though with Brewer's feelings about Stanford, he said that the good news did not materially affect his outlook on his recruiting. He feels the same way today as he did in the spring before he applied.
"Stanford has always been #1 on my list, still is #1 on my list, and probably always will be #1 on my list," professes Brewer.
That puts Stanford atop a strong list of national schools and football programs. Brewer has offers thus far from Northwestern, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Arizona, Nebraska and Stanford. His top five right now, as he told me, are the last four plus Notre Dame, though the Irish have yet to offer.
To better understand why Brewer is so enamored with Stanford atop this list, it is worthwhile examining a profile of the young man. First, you will find that perhaps his greatest passion outside of football is the three-year-and-counting project of rebuilding and hot-rod'ing a '53 Ford truck. Mikal has stripped it down to the barest frame, and has been building it from the ground up. Almost everything he has done has been custom work of his own creation and imagination, abhorring the use of pre-fab kits. Custom transmission, rails, rear-end, cross brackets - the works.
But that work is more than a hobby for him, it is also a close parallel to his career goals for after football, whereby he would like to be an orthopedic surgeon. Brewer feels that working with and repairing bones is not so dissimilar from the rebuilding of his truck, requiring a high level or knowledge, precision, patience and care. His favorite subject in high school to date confirmed his career goal, when he so thoroughly enjoyed AP Biology as a junior this past year. That in turn is why the young lineman from Peoria, Arizona wants to be pre-med in college, and as he has evaluated the strengths of schools' undergraduate pre-medical offerings and has sought out the strengths of their medical schools. He says it was quick and easy to see that Stanford is #1 on that list.
Additionally, when the subject turns to football, you find in Mikal Brewer a serious student of the game who appreciates all of the finer points of strategy and technique.
"I genuinely do love to watch football," says Brewer. "I am a student of the game who enjoys watching all the moves the coaches make on gamedays, watching strategies unfold."
As someone who catches plenty of football on the television, though, Mikal says he is fine with the fact that the offensive linemen are often invisible to the viewing public, except in the circumstances when they make a mistake and give up a sack.
"I have never really played the game for the glory of it," states Brewer, "or else I would be playing another position."
When you hone the finer details of his position, Brewer gets most excited talking about run-blocking, which gives him the opportunity to "beat up on a guy." Indeed, Mikal might prefer a run-heavy offense that would give him greater opportunities in college for his favorite aspect of the position. So how much concern is there over a purported transition to the new BuddyBall offense at Stanford?
"Stanford is making a transition to more of a pro-style or pass-dominated offense, but that does not bother me much," says Brewer.
And that leads into the checklist of what Brewer wants to see and learn about Stanford and Stanford football before he makes his commitment. Mikal would like to get a good hold on the mix of run and pass in the offense under Buddy Teevens. It is not so much taking a play count and tally, but to come to a general comfort level with what he sees. The running game does not need to dominate for Brewer, but he would like to see a respectable amount of the run.
Additionally, Mikal Brewer has some more focused questions on the nutrition program for Stanford football, including how it ties in with their new strength program. Though Brewer has already visited Stanford, he did not get to closely examine everything at that time. Moreover, when he took an official visit to Nebraska late this summer, his eyes were opened to areas of a football program (read: nutrition) that he had not really given much thought to before. Now that he has those thoughts, he would like to see the programs at Stanford and compare them to his satisfaction. This also includes checking out the academic support system, facilities and personnel.
Though Brewer had a very positive visit experience at Nebraska, he maintains that Stanford is still his strong leader. He actually admits with some ironic amusement that the only reason he is not committed to Stanford right now is that his exploration during the summer when he waited for his admissions acceptance opened his eyes to more areas of evaluation and detail for a football program and university. All the same, he says he is unshaken in his favor for the Cardinal, including his visit schedule. He has already checked out the local option with Arizona, and saw Nebraska this summer. That leaves him likely with just two visits remaining, including UCLA on November 23rd. Brewer wants to hold off and take his Stanford visit last, since they are his first choice, which means a probable late-November official visit to the Farm after the trek to Westwood. That is not entirely great news for Stanford, given that the last weekend in November is Thanksgiving weekend, which will find many students back home or away with friends for the four-day weekend.
Arizona remains an intriguing option for its location, and Mikal Brewer says that his father favors the Wildcats simply for that proximity. But the younger Brewer calls Stanford an attractive location "still within driving distance," a