RECRUITING: Top Junior OL to Trim List Down

Central Florida is home to most likely the best junior offensive lineman in the state and arguably the best player in Florida. Orlando Edgewater offensive guard / center Michael Brewster (6-5, 295) is already one of the most coveted prospects in the nation for the class of 2008. Sporting offers from many of the nation’s elite programs already, Brewster is going to be big news in this year.

He plays center and forward for his Edgewater team that is off to a fast start this season. It is a team that runs and presses a lot and a sport that really shows off Brewster’s athletic ability. The mauling lineman is a bruiser on the field and ideal for smash mouth football. Some big name schools are in the mix with six at the top. He is open to everyone right now, but looks to be closing in on a top group very soon.

“I am about to cut it down to six schools, Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, USC, Georgia, and Oklahoma,” Brewster said. “I am open to everyone right now, but those are probably the top six, and I will be narrowing it down to six soon. My coach says it will probably be the best way to get a lot of the pressure off.”

The lure of the west coast is something that a lot of recruits these days have not been able to hide from. For Brewster USC is all about the head coach.

“I think Pete Carol is a really good coach,” he said. “I think between him, Coach Meyer, Coach Tressel, and Coach Stoops those are all premiere coaches and will put you in a position to win. If Carol left USC for the NFL I would probably cut them out of the picture a little more.”

Brewster also has a fondness for the Midwest and the thought of being a Sooner and playing for Coach Stoops is something he can see himself doing.

“Coach Stoops did a good job and they were young this year,” he said. “That is a really good program. You know I am kind of familiar with the Midwest. I am definitely looking at them.”

One team that is landing a plethora of linemen this recruiting season has a lot going for it also. The University of Georgia is another school that Brewster knows just enough about that he wants to know a little more.

“I have always liked Georgia a little bit, but am not too familiar with them,” he said. “It is another school I wouldn’t want to cut out without looking into.”

The University of Michigan had a great season in 2006 before stumbling mightily at the end. According to Brewster, he likes that Michigan puts out quality linemen year in and year out.

“They have a really good offensive line coach,” Brewster said of the Wolverines. “They have really nice facilities. They put out good linemen. It looks like a good fit for me.”

One team constantly linked to Brewster and his recruitment this early in his recruitment is the Ohio State University. The Buckeyes made it to the National Championship game where they didn’t fare very well against another one of his favorites, but they certainly remain high among the schools he is looking at the most.

“They got beat by the Gators pretty bad, but they are still one of my top schools,” Brewster said. “Their coaching staff is a bunch of really great people. Coach Bollman the offensive line coach has been putting guys in the NFL. They will come down to the wire. Coach Tressel is a class act. I don’t think I could go wrong with him. They will probably come down to my top three.”

Of keen interest in Brewster’s recruitment is the fact he has bonded with a few offensive linemen that are a part of the national 2008 recruiting class. These are some other big names that recruitniks will hear on the recruiting trail and are also considered some of the elite linemen in the class. Brewster is interested in making the line at the school he chooses a special group.

“Mike Adams is one and he is up in Ohio, Brewster said about one of the linemen he has befriended. “I met him at Ohio State camp and we developed a good friendship. Kyle Long is from Virginia and I am becoming pretty close with. If he doesn’t go play professional baseball out of high school, we will probably go to the same school.

“I really just want to form a great offensive line for next year’s class. I think you can’t win a championship without a great offensive line.”

The entire group including Brewster already mentions Florida as a possible destination. The current National Champions are on their way to another star studded class, but one definite missing ingredient is the number of big time offensive linemen. The Gators will only sign three linemen in this class and will lose four after the 2007 season, making offensive line recruiting a priority.

The fact that the Gators manhandled Ohio State in front of a national audience cannot hurt the perception. The fact that they exacted their will against the mighty Big Ten power has to show that the finesse Gators of old are gone. It certainly made a favorable impression on Brewster.

“I was blown away,” Brewster said. “Coach Meyer did a great job coaching. The offensive line played great, I am not sure they gave up a sack. I was really impressed with how the offensive line did. They have a lot of young guys and are creating a dynasty with all these great recruiting classes they are putting together.

“They really caught my attention a lot more after that game. They just put it to them and spread the field out. They kept moving the chains. I just think the coaching went really well in the game.”

Brewster also likes the coaching staff at Florida. They are an easy group to relate to and Head Coach Urban Meyer and Offensive Line Coach seems to be able to get down to the level of the prospects he is recruiting.

“Coach Meyer has a few kids, one close to my age, and I think that allows him to relate to the kids,” Brewster said. “I think that is why guys feel at home with him. He is definitely a great coach and one that I would play for.

“Coach Hevesy kind of reminds me of Coach Meyer, he is fun to be around. He would be my coach there because he coaches guard and centers.”

The Gators also have an Ace in the hole. Five star safety Lorenzo Edwards is currently an Edgewater teammate in football and basketball, and has already pledged to play for the Gators. Edwards and Brewster are good friends.

“I am sure it will have an effect, we are pretty good friends,” he said. “He is on me to commit early and be a Gator. We will have fun with it.”

Among early recruiting myths and Brewster’s recruitment is the misnomer that he is not willing to play in sunny Florida. It seems an earlier report from Brewster claimed that he wanted to play ball up north and get away from the Florida heat. Brewster expounded on that interpretation.

“People asked me if the cold bothered me, but it wouldn’t bother me,” he said. “It is hot down here in Orlando, but I always said that if I could pick a place in Florida it would be somewhere like Jacksonville or north Florida. I really think Gainesville is nice and a little cooler than here in Orlando.”

In the end, just like most of the recruits that have been picking the Gators in the class of 2007, Michael Brewster’s decision will come down to the people at the school. The coaching and environment are most important.

“The position coach and success rate of his players moving on to the next level,” Brewster answered as to what was important in that final decision. “Mostly, I want to go to a place where I really feel at home. Football season is only a quarter of the year, I want to go to a place where after the season I can enjoy my time.”

Some big programs are going to spend a lot of their time making sure they can show a pleasant environment for Michael Brewster. They will have until sometime late in the football season as he wants to make somewhat of an early decision. On February 8, the real recruiting for the class of 2008 begins and Michael Brewster will be the first contacted by many big time schools.