A little more than a year ago, the most likely Brockermeyer to become a starter for the Texas Longhorns in 2021 was standout left tackle Tommy Brockermeyer, a consensus five-star prospect and the No. 6 prospect nationally in the 2021 recruiting class.
But after a solid spring and continued success in preseason camp, it’s junior Luke Brockermeyer who is now a surprise starter for the Longhorns at middle linebacker.
A former walk on, Brockermeyer was a late addition to the 2018 Texas recruiting class after decommitting from Rice and passing on another scholarship offer from Oregon State to land at his father Blake’s alma mater.
The 6’3, 225-pounder earned a scholarship as a redshirt freshman in 2019, then emerged as a special teams contributor last season, recording two tackles in five appearances.
With the departure of starting middle linebacker Juwan Mitchell in late March, an opportunity emerged for a player to take over next to senior DeMarvion Overshown, who missed spring practice after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Sophomores David Gbenda and Jaylan Ford earned the first-team reps in the Orange-White game and looked like the favorites to win the starting job following spring practice as Brockermeyer recorded three tackles with the second-team defense. Instead, Brockermeyer emerged quickly in preseason camp, earning a reputation for his instincts and his ability to play fast, highlighted by an interception in the first scrimmage.
On Thursday, Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian praised his staff’s ability to evaluate players while giving them opportunities to prove themselves without any prior judgement based on what happened under the previous coaching staff.
“What Luke did was just played really sound good football,” Sarkisian said. “I think he learned our scheme really well. I think he’s got a very high football IQ, he’s a savvy player. He’s a tremendous leader on defense as far as being a Mike linebacker and making the calls and getting people lined up and making the checks. I think that’s where his football IQ comes into play, but also his confidence comes into play, because he’s got to be vocal in that spot to make those things happen. And I think that’s a credit to him.”
Because Brockermeyer plays a position that demands a certain level of leadership because the Mike linebacker makes defensive calls, Sarkisian believes that Brockermeyer’s ability to play fast, play smart, and play physical has an impact on the entire defense.
Earning the starting role is the culmination of all the hard work Brockermeyer has put in since arriving at Texas and Overshown believes that he’ll treat the season opener against Louisiana as a moment he’s worked for his entire life.
“I think he’s probably the most pumped in the locker room to get out there Saturday,” Overshown said.
Brockermeyer’s personal story is the primary reason Overshown believes that about his fellow starting inside linebacker.
“If you’ve ever been around Luke, he’s always up, and it’s his first start as a linebacker at the university that his dad played it so that’s always carried along with him,” Overshown said. “Just getting his opportunity after sitting on the sideline for three years to come out here and do what he loves to do at the university that he grew up loving, I can just tell he’s ready, just seeing it in his face every practice in how he practices.”