Each day, as a countdown to fall camp opening Aug. 5, we are going to provide you with a number that was important in 2011 and let you know why it will be important in 2012.
OK, so this one is not exactly a stat. But it is number. And it is number Texas fans might want to watch. That number is seven, as in the number across the back of freshman Connor Brewer.
Inside the number
Texas coach Mack Brown has already said he would prefer to redshirt Brewer. To further hammer home that point, Brewer was not even mentioned during Big 12 media days. Instead, all the talk was about possibly having a two-quarterback system and those two quarterbacks being David Ash and Case McCoy.
In an ideal world, Texas would like to have just one quarterback. It thought it had just one in 2011. By the second half of the second game it had already used three. That’s why the prudent move is not to just dismiss Brewer as redshirt. Remember, he came in during the spring, just as Ash did in 2011. But unlike Ash, who had to shuffle between four quarterbacks getting snaps, Brewer was given more quality snaps and more attention.
Also Brewer comes to Texas slightly more aware of his surroundings and able to adapt to those surroundings better. His sister was already and athlete at Texas. (She’s a swimmer.) So he knows what it takes to be a Division I athlete. He also comes from a winning program in Scottsdale, Ariz. Chapparal is one of the bigger schools in the state and Brewer won consistently there.
That might not seem like a huge deal but when Ash came into the program he was coming from a small town, Belton, and had never experienced and environment like UT. His family kept him somewhat sheltered to the point where he did not watch TV even into his teen years.
So when he was thrown into the Texas situation the learning curve was quite a bit steeper than it might be for Brewer. It is then reasonable to assume that Brewer might be able to handle all that is thrown at him slightly better than Ash did at this time last year.
Where it counts in 2012
The coaching staff has shown that it wants to play situational players in situations where they can be the most successful. Brewer might fit into the Texas plans as a guy who can take a few snaps here or there and fill a need that Texas has. Of course, Texas has to weigh the gains of that against burning his redshirt year.
With Tyrone Swoopes committed for the 2013 class, not redshirting Brewer could provide two years separation between the two quarterbacks.
Of course the determining factor of whether Brewer plays or not in 2011 might not be up to the player himself. Instead it hinges upon how well Ash and McCoy play. If they come out shaky, the coaches, who insist they do not want to be a run only team, could try Brewer to see if he can provide the spark. After all, Texas does not want to be in this same position in 2013.