Longhorn fans have become, understandably, a little skittish about whether out-of-staters will keep their commitments to the Burnt Orange. After all, Five-Star QB recruits Ryan Perrilloux and John Brantley de-committed in recent years to remain in their home states. More recently, Southlake Carroll QB Riley Dodge de-committed after his father and former Texas QB Todd Dodge became head coach at North Texas.
But not every national prospect has annually received a birthday card from Longhorn coach Mack Brown. Brewster has received birthday greetings from Brown long before he gave Texas his verbal last March 19.
"I feel like coach Brown is a member of my family," Brewster said. "I feel really close to him. He always checked up me on to see how I was doing."
In this case, the family atmosphere that Brown cultivates within his program extends beyond the usual recruiting rhetoric. First-year Gopher coach Tim Brewster credits Brown for giving him his start in the profession when he was head coach at North Carolina (1990). Brewster coached the Tar Heels' TEs, special teams and served as recruiting coordinator until Texas hired Brown in 1998. The Brewsters remained in Austin for four years and even lived on the same street as Defensive Coordinator Duane Akina.
Brewster became the TE coach for the San Diego Chargers before assuming the same position for the Denver Broncos two years later. He fulfilled a lifelong dream of a head coaching stint at the collegiate level when Minnesota replaced Glen Mason last year. As such, many wondered if Nolan might follow his older brother Clint (a QB) to Minnesota.
However, Nolan referenced his early commitment to Texas as "a no-brainer. When we were at Texas, I built strong relationships with the players and the program."
The two-time all-stater is highly coveted for his sideline-to-sideline pursuit. That's why he was recruited by all the usual suspects, including USC, LSU, Florida, Nebraska, UCLA, Colorado and, of course, Minnesota.
Other than an unofficial trip to Colorado, Brewster took none of his officials visits to other programs. He attended Texas' annual football banquet last month and was hosted by TE Blaine Irby.
"A few schools are still calling me every once in a while," Brewster mentioned. "They ask me to come check them out. I tell them I'm not going to their school. I'm going to Texas."
Projected at FS, Brewster said Longhorn coaches are also considering him as an outside linebacker. Either way, Texas' 2008 signing class shapes up as a significant shot in the arm for its beleaguered pas defense. Brewster's future teammates joining him in San Antonio this week include Five-Star CB Aaron Williams and explosive CB D.J. Monroe. Other Texas commits selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl are WR Dan Buckner, LB Dravannti Johnson, OL David Snow and K/P Justin Tucker.
"The best part ofm the week has been getting to know all the players, especially my future teammates," Brewster said. "It's been fun going up against this kind of caliber of players. The DBs had a skills challenge this morning. We had to run down the field, cover a kick and make sure it didn't go into end zone. I saw (Cypress, Texas RB and Michigan commit) Sam McGuffie do a front flip over a kid."
Following Wednesday afternoon's sessions is an "eat-off" as well as contests for push-ups, sit-ups and karaoke, Brewster noted,
Kick-off for Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl is set for noon (Central) and the game will be televised on NBC-Sports.