This was nothing like the plan. Mikal Brewer decided back in the summer that he would take his Stanford official visit last, so as to give his favorite team the last chance to impress him. When Notre Dame told Brewer that the only date he could visit South Bend was December 6 (the weekend of their football banquet, when they want all possible recruits in town before the worst of the winter weather hits), so he penciled the Cardinal in for December 13. Subsequent talks with the Cardinal staff revealed to him that the late date in December was not going to work, given that the campus would be empty with students home after their fall quarter finals. With his visits to Nebraska and Arizona in the bag, and UCLA and Notre Dame still to come, Brewer and the Stanford staff decided to get him to campus this past weekend for the Oregon State game. And just as he did not plan to visit Stanford before other schools, he did not plan that the other visits would be rendered irrelevant.
Sunday night, when Mikal and his parents were in head coach Buddy Teevens' office talking about the present and future, the 6'4" 275-pound offensive guard decided to give his commitment to the Cardinal.
"I had no intention of committing when I took this trip, and really thought I would take the rest of my trips and then decide," admits the elite OL recruit. "But it just felt right. It seemed pointless to go visit anywhere else after my experiences and what I learned this weekend.."
According to Brewer, the Stanford head coach was pretty surprised by the commitment, given that Brewer had been set on taking all his trips. After the initial shock and excitement, Teevens called the rest of his coaching staff into his office for an impromptu celebration. "It was just an awesome scene," says Brewer. "It was a really happy moment for me and my parents."
Brewer had visited The Farm unofficially during the summer, but was remiss in his failure to check out the weight facilities and training table. They had not felt so important at the time, but his subsequent visit to Nebraska clubbed him over the head with the focus on weights and nutrition. That put some pressure on Stanford to give a good showing of its facilities with Brewer bringing such scrutiny on this trip.
"I had some questions coming into the weekend, and they were answered completely. I hadn't previously had the chance to see the weight room, eating arrangement or the dorm situations. The weight room was a little different from Nebraska in its style of training - machines versus more free weights - but the quality of the weight rooms were equal. I mean, they were both just awesome," exclaims the Peoria lineman.
One downer about the visit weekend might have been a tough loss to Oregon State with a second half collapse on Saturday, which Brewer watched with great interest. But when asked about the importance of football in a decision that could be rationalized with academics, he says that the football is an important reason he is coming to The Farm. "I wanted to get a good feel for the coaches and players during my visit, and I made this commitment with the utmost confidence that this will be a winning team these next few years."
Mikal Brewer selected Stanford from among 12 offers. Beyond his top five list above that he set for his five official visits, he had notable offers from Washington, Northwestern, Oregon, Oregon State and Colorado. With an offer list from the top schools in the West and Midwest like that, it is unsurprising that this interior talent is rated the #3 offensive lineman on the West Coast by PacWestFootball and the #30 lineman in the country by The Insiders.
He is the first offensive line commitment in this Stanford class, which is in need of four and maybe five talented linemen across all positions. Though Stanford pulled in a tremendous line class this past year, which is entirely redshirting, there is just one lineman in the two classes of eligibility ahead of the redshirt class. The pressure is high to get a strong foundation on the line for any future success of the offense, as well as the team. Brewer could play at guard or at center going forward, with the athleticism and versatility that makes him a strong bet for a strong Stanford career. This truly is an outstanding get for the Cardinal that should be the beginning of a very good O-line class.