Ten pairs of eyes focused on one player in the huddle as time ran down in the North Carolina high school football game between the Tuscola Mountaineers and Pisgah Black Bears. That player, Tuscola sophomore quarterback Tyler Brosius, calmly relays the sideline call — “Black 69” — to his teammates, walks up to the line, looks over the safety and linebackers and moves behind his center.
The 6-3, 220-pound Brosius knows where he will throwing the football, and after calling the signals and taking a five-step drop, he delivers the football to his slot receiver, who has run a 15-yard out route into the corner of the end zone.
No pressure, as far as Brosius, one of the top quarterbacks in the recruiting Class of 2010, is concerned. You want to know pressure? Get to know his little sister Katie.
“When I take the field, I think about my little sister and what happened to her and how lucky I am to be playing football,” he said.
Three years ago, Tyler’s family was devastated when they found out Katie had a brain tumor. After months of treatment and surgery at Duke University, she made a full recovery, but the memory lingers with Brosius until this day,
“It was scary, but Mom and Dad told me she was going to be all right and she ended up being fine,” said Brosius, who has become a fearless quarterback and a charismatic leader.
“Tyler is a big reason for our success,” Tuscola head coach Donnie Keefer said. “Two years ago, we were 2-9 and last year, with Tyler at quarterback, we won seven games. Tyler isn’t a guy who will throw for 300 yards or six touchdowns in a game, but he will consistently lead our team down the field and execute our offense.”
When it comes to making plays, Brosius has the whole package – a cannon arm and a sharp intellect, making him one of the top quarterbacks in the class of 2010.
“I like making reads and checking down to my receivers,” Brosius said. “It’s like I’m playing a video game on the field.”
The arm was on display last month in Gainesville for Friday Night Lights and caught the attention of Florida’s offensive coordinator Dan Mullen.
“I got to work with coach Mullen at the camp and he said he liked my arm and my size,” Brosius added.
The Gators aren’t the only ones looking hard at the western North Carolina gunslinger.
“We sent Tyler to a lot of camps and combines this summer and he has impressed a lot of big-time schools,” Keefer said. “Boston College, South Carolina and Clemson were the schools who showed him the most interest this summer and now you can add Florida to that list.”
Coach Keefer said that Steve Logan of Boston College and South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier were most impressed with the junior’s arm.
“Tyler has a big-league throwing arm,” Keefer said. “A lot of high school quarterbacks can only make a small number of throws. Tyler can make them all. He can throw it deep and he can throw it short. He can put zip on the ball and has phenomenal touch on shorter routes.
“What he does so well for our offense is throw to the outside. I’ve never seen someone throw the ‘out’ and ‘corner’ with the authority and confidence that he does.”
Keefer also is impressed by his quarterback’s leadership and work ethic, saying Brosius is a first-one-to-show, last-one-to-leave kind of player.
Where does that determination come from? Credit sister Katie for that, too.
“After the close call we had with my sister, I have a better appreciation for how short life is and how precious it is,” Brosius said. “It is a precious gift from God and I’m going to do all I can to make the most of it. Football is important and a big priority in my life, but it is definitely not the most important thing.”
Katie Brosius showed her bigger brother that.
(Brett Williams composed this report for Gator Country.com)