The Longhorns don't stray into the west of the Southwest (Arizona and New Mexico) to pursue prospects often, in large part because the two states simply don't produce much talent. However, Texas has shown the ability on several occasions in recent years to land players from those two states -- former DE/DT Aaron Lewis came from New Mexico and arguably the top player in the 2011 class is Christian Westerman, who calls Hamilton, AZ home.
In addition, Aztec, NM OL Matt Hegarty was a top target in 2011 who had the Longhorns high on his list before Westerman's commitment closed recruiting along the offensive line. The Longhorns were also in serious pursuit of current USC LB Devon Kennard until the end.
So it's not entirely unusual for Mack Brown and his staff to show interest in a prospect from either of the two states, especially given that the home-state schools hardly have their own territory on lockdown. The latest recruit to add his name to the above-mentioned list is 2012 Scottsdale (AZ) Chaparral QB Connor Brewer, considered the top prospect in the state.
So Brewer clearly fits one major criterion for an out-of-state prospect -- his talent level. What places him more firmly on the radar is the fact that he has that connection to Texas ($) Mack Brown always looks for when recruiting a kid from another state -- his older sister accepted an offer to swim at Texas. He hasn't visited yet, but will have the opportunity to do so when his sister enrolls this fall, a trip that sounds like it will only reinforce the positive feelings he already has for the school -- he listed Texas first ($) when asked about his top five college choices back at the end of March. The interest there appears serious.
The Texas coaches probably would have preferred that he make it in for a camp this summer, which was his intention at one point but didn't dhappen. Brewer does report that he has been in contact with offensive coordinator Greg Davis and the Texas coaching staff, which approved of his film for reasons that will become apparent. Not seeing him in camp probably puts him behind the in-state quarterbacks the coaches have seen in person and gives him some ground to make up.
Brewer Scouting Report
Physically, Brewer has unsurprisingly grown two inches over the last year and a half to about 6-2 and still has some room to grow, as both brothers are 6-4. One of those brothers pitches for the Diamondbacks and the other for UCLA, so there are clearly some athletic genes in the Brewer family beyond just his sister, related to arm strength especially. Listed at 185 pounds, Brewer still has significant room to fill out in his upper body. His frame is better than average and some of his upside depends on his ability to get to 215 pounds or so in college to aid his durability. If ends up in the 200 range, there could be some concerns.
Throwing the football, Brewer is polished and sound for his age. Brewer consistently keeps the ball high and doesn't drop his elbow on his wind-up, so his release is quck and clean, with an ideal arm slot at or above the earhole on his helmet. Those mechanics allow him to maximize his arm strength, which at this point is generally considered anywhere from average to good and has some projectability as he increases his strength and possibly grows a bit more.
It's on the deep fades that Brewer really shows off his chops as a quarterback, consistently hitting his receivers in stride with soft passes showing a combination of touch and ability to use the arm strength he does have to still put the ball on a line. Throws down the seam reflect the same ability, as his mechanics and touch allow him to get the ball over linebackers. It's on intermediate throws outside the hash marks where his lack of elite arm strength and leverage keep him from being able to really zip the football. Once again, though, his good mechanics and solid footwork allow him to get the football to the target.
On the run, Brewer sometimes struggles to consistently spin the football, but he's capable rolling right or left. As always, Brewer is polished for his age in those areas and it's not a stretch to project improvement in that area.
Completion percentage and highlight film don't substitute for game film or watching a player in person. What his completion perctange does suggest is that at 64%, Brewer was operating the offense with efficiency. What the highlights suggest is that his compeltion percentage is all the more impressive because the team clearly takes shots downfield. Whatever bad decisions he did make only resulted in five interceptions on the season.
As a runner, Brewer's 40 is variously listed at between 4.7 and 4.8, with the latter number probably closer to the truth. There's not much burst or acceleration there, despite a reported 33-inch vertical. The overall rushing numbers aren't impressive -- barely over 150 yards on about three yards a carry. On the positive side, Brewer did at times show the balance and strength to break some arm tackles, but if he did it consistently, it certainly wasn't reflected in the numbers or the highlights. Basically, he's a pro-style guy with some measure of athleticism.
Connor Brewer Full Recruiting Highlights (via bchesin)
If Brewer played in Texas, his overall ranking would probably fall in the same range as SA Reagan's Trevor Knight, who has a stronger arm and slightly better athleticism, but doesn't have Brewer's overal polish. In other words, he's not going to displace Matt Davis on the Wish List, but he falls into that discussion with Knight atop the Watch List as an intriguing target if something goes wrong with Davis or the coaching staff flat-out decides the offense is heading in a direction away from a dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school as a much more effective runner than passer (i.e. Davis).
A visit in the fall for a game and a trip down to a Junior Day are the obvious steps going forward to confirm Brewer's interest. At this point, if Brewer does visit and the interest continues from the Texas coaching staff, he looks like a strong candidate to commit if offered.
Gimme Factor: Three gimme's out of five (brought down a bit by Matt Davis love)