July 7, 2011

Brewster cementing legacy in final year

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Michael Brewster took a moment to assess what his legacy at Ohio State may look like when his days with the program are over.

Brewster could have looked back to his days as a recruit, where he became synonymous with urging other players to join him at Ohio State. As a result, Ohio State's 2008 recruiting class was star-studded, now often referred to as the "Brew Crew."

He could have remember his stellar and consistent performance on the field where he became a starter in his freshman year before developing into one of the premier offensive talents in the Big Ten.

But what the senior suggested wasn't about what he's done in the past. Brewster, who spurned the NFL Draft to return to Ohio State for his senior season, feels as if his legacy has yet to be made.

Instead of leaving the Buckeyes early to pursue a career in the NFL, Brewster returned to Ohio State despite off-the-field turmoil that has grown exponentially in the time since his decision.

Brewster has no regrets - just a legacy to make.

"Now I am glad I did come back," Brewster said when asked if he made the right decision, "because I can help keep things together and help move things forward. I think that may be the most important thing I do here in my four years."

Brewster's teammates, also his close friends, were involved with a scandal in which they sold personal memorabilia given to them by Ohio State in exchange for cash and other benefits.

Months later Jim Tressel resigned after it become public that he had previous knowledge of those scandals taking place and opting not to come forward with the information.

Now Ohio State faces perhaps the darkest era of the program's illustrious history with prominent offensive players - including DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, and Dan Herron all set to serve five-game suspensions.

Further punishment could be on the way, too. Ohio State is set for a mid-Aug. hearing with the NCAA where it will finally be decided if the program's self-imposed sanctions were enough.

Brewster admitted he thought about going to the NFL. It may have even seem like the right choice given the way things have turned out in the program, but thoughts of leaving early apparently didn't last all that long.

"To be honest, I did look at my options but it was only my third year playing center and I needed to get my body bigger and more prepared for the next level," Brewster said. "I was definitely going to be coming back.

"I knew those guys were going to be suspended and I felt like I should stay and help my team," he continued. "And that's what I am going to do."

The choice has been consistent with the way Brewster has gone along his business since the months leading into his official commitment to Ohio State. As the ringleader of the "Brew Crew," he led by example as early his days as a recruit.

Brewster latched onto a big role early in his career at Ohio State and has led his team through his actions - and play - ever since.

"I feel like Brewster has been a leader on this team going back for probably all three years," defensive back Orhian Johnson said. "Playing at the center position since his freshman season, which is an important position, I feel like he has always been one of those guys who has led by example.

"He has always been very vocal. He gets on guys and doesn't mind telling them when they need to improve or doing something right. With him coming back with all the experience and credentials behind him, I feel like nothing but positive can come of it."

The leader of his recruiting class long before he was ever officially a Buckeye, Brewster committed to the program for four years. As it turns out, his recruit classmates will turn to him yet again to help the program out of dark times.

And to Brewster, there's one only thing that will help Ohio State overcome the current adversity - winning.

"All we think about is winning, getting ready to win, doing whatever it takes to win," Brewster said. "We've been a part of a winning program since we've gotten here, and we're not going to let that stop just because of what's happened."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at Ari@BuckeyeGrove.com.


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