When tight end Jesse Brubaker (Wylie, Texas/Wylie East) committed to SMU late Monday evening, he ended weeks of frustration. Brubaker watched college scouts come to his campus almost on a daily basis during the spring, but most of them were eyeing Wylie East’s dynamic wide receiver tandem of Marcell Ateman and Quan Jones.
Visits from college coaches always seemed to start out looking at the receivers, but those coaches end up asking about Brubaker, a 6-foot-4, 245-pound bruiser. They notice his 4.68-second speed in the 40-yard dash and his impressive hands, which rival his receiver counterparts.
“Those two really were the best thing to happen to me,” Brubaker said of Ateman and Jones, who have committed to Oklahoma State and Baylor, respectively. “They brought all of attention, and when they brought it, those coaches would see me in practice, then see me on film. I guess SMU really liked what they saw.”
Brubaker picked up the SMU offer during the first week of spring practice. It was his only offer, but schools such as Tulsa, Iowa State, TCU and Louisiana Tech were showing major interest. During spring workouts, Brubaker showed that he was as blue-collar as they come, showcasing his blocking skills and his ability to run crisp routes and make tough catches.
It was enough for his area recruiter from SMU, defensive coordinator Tom Mason, to pass his name on to head coach June Jones, and it was enough for the Mustangs to offer.
“The day they offered me, I was pretty excited,” Brubaker said. “I was getting a little anxious about getting an offer, since those two towers [Ateman and Jones] had like 14 or 15 at the time.
“It was discouraging at first, but my coach explained it to me. They are freaks –-- 6-4, 6-5 and running a 4.4 in the 40. You don’t see those kind of players every day. I think in a way, though, it kind of made me want to work harder.”
Brubaker said his commitment felt like a weight was lifted, and he now is working on becoming an even more versatile offensive threat. Brubaker lines up as a wideout for Wylie East’s 7-on-7 football team, which has qualified for the 2012 State 7-on-7 Tournament on June 20-21 in College Station, Texas.
Brubaker caught 28 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns as a junior for Wylie East. He is excited about attending SMU, not only for the athletic opportunities in Jones’ offensive system but also for the scholastic gain he can achieve. SMU academically is recognized for its business program, and he is looking to pursue a degree in business.
“You can’t really beat the academic and competitive drive they have on the field put together,” Brubaker said. “Some places you go, you get good teams but maybe not the best education. That’s really important to me.”
Brubaker said he hopes to be a tight end similar to his favorite on the professional level, two-time Super Bowl champion Heath Miller.
“He’s not like some of those prima donna tight ends out there,” Brubaker said. “He’s a big, hard-nosed guy who also has soft hands to catch the ball. When he catches ball, he makes somebody pay for it.”