If you missed this morning's Detroit News feature on Brennen Beyer, click here.
Sam Webb: In your experience with Brennen (Beyer) as a player over the years, just what you think of him as a player?
Mike Sawchuk: “Obviously since he’s been in our program he’s done nothing but work his tail off. He’s one of those kids that worked his tails off, not only on the football field and in the offseason and that, but in the classroom as well. He also works at being a great citizen, good character kid. He really has no weaknesses in my eyes.”
Sam Webb: From a skill set standpoint; what does he do well, what are the strengths of his game?
Mike Sawchuk: “He has got a motor that does not quit. He just keeps on coming at you. He has got great arm length. He’s really worked on his explosiveness in the weight room with power cleans and the parallel squat and all the stuff we do in the weight room. Probably his greatest thing is his quickness and his motor.”
Sam Webb: I’ve seen his tape and he excels on both sides of the ball; have you gotten an idea from college coaches as to whether is a particular side of the ball that they think he will project to at the next level?
Mike Sawchuk: “Definitely, they are looking at him as a defensive end/outside linebacker type. It all depends on what scheme he goes into. If he ended up going to Michigan and they played a lot of 3-3 stuff, he might play some linebacker. He plays in a 4-3 scheme, he would probably play some defensive end. He’s got the frame where he is going to put on a bunch of weight. Since basket has been over, I think he’s probably put on 15 pounds already.”
Sam Webb: He definitely seems to be no stranger to the weight room. I came out to one of his basketball games and you could see that he was really ripped up.
Mike Sawchuk: “That’s one of our mottos is that we get after you big time in the weight room. In the summertime, in the offseason, he gets it done and everybody gets it done really, they do not have a choice.”
Sam Webb: I’m sure there are a number of plays like this, but can you recall, whether it was this year or years previous, where you were on the sideline or in the film room and you were watching Brennen and you said ‘wow, I can't believe he made that play’?
Mike Sawchuk: “Absolutely. It was more so when I was coaching in Florida that you would see that kind of stuff. Yeah, he’s done some unbelievable things. Splitting double teams, and he’s done a lot of good things offensively, great catches. You know more so his sophomore year, we had him playing offensive tackle because we were down lineman. He wanted to be a skill kid out there, but he said hey whatever I got to do to make us win and I’ll tell you what, he was impressive as an offensive lineman. In fact, if we do not get a couple of linemen going this year, he may have to go back there on offense instead of splitting him out.”
Sam Webb: Team guy.
Mike Sawchuk: “Absolutely.”
Sam Webb: As far as colleges are concerned it seems like things have ramped up fairly quickly for him; when did schools start coming and at this point, I do not even know if you know off the top of your head, but what are the schools that are sort of coming after him the hardest?
Mike Sawchuk: “It seems like there is a new one every day. It started probably I want to say right before Christmas or right after Christmas, I can't remember. He’s got Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Northwestern, Toledo, Stanford. I know I just gave him some mail today from USC. I do not know what that said, but people look at the way he uses his hands and gets separation and he’s got those long limbs and his motor and they just love it. He’s a 3.9 grade point average kid. He’s already qualified. That’s what they want.”
Sam Webb: How about the instate schools… were they the ones that sort of got on him first?
Mike Sawchuk: “Michigan did. Michigan and Toledo first and then everybody else came running after that.”
Sam Webb: When you look at his game, I know they like to keep pushing guys, what’s the next step for Brennen? What does he need to improve? Where can he improve?
Mike Sawchuk: “I think if he wants to play defensive end at the next level where a lot of people want him to, he has got to put on some weight and not lose the speed that he has. He’s a 4.5 kid and so he’s got to put on some more lean body mass. Obviously the more reps he gets playing live, the better he is going to get.”
Sam Webb: Knowing Brennen like you do, when he gets ready to sit down and make his final decision with regards to what school he is going to, what do you think are going to be the most significant factors in that choice?
Mike Sawchuk: “Obviously, it’s got to be academics for him. That’s going to be a huge one. The Wings just scored again it is 4-0, by the way. I’m watching the Wings right now. I think he really likes the family atmosphere type of places. The head coach will come in and he’s not just a figurehead. He’ll come in and talk to you. I think that’s the type of place he wants to go to. I hate to speak for him, but that’s just what I see from Brennen.”