Brennen Beyer is a throwback to the Natural Way of Things in-state as established by Bo and Mo and Carr before the cliff Michigan recruiting went off. He's a universal four star from Michigan, he wanted to go to Michigan, he got the offer, committed, and never wavered. Bully for Beyer and the Natural Way.
All four recruiting services have him a four-star player and Scout had him in their top 100. It's easy to see why if you hit up the senior-year footage above, which features a lot of Beyer taking on and defeating blocks en route to making plays. That's a changeup from highlight reels that feature the star swooshing past confused linemen en route to killing some poor 5'10" sophomore. (See: Brown, Pharaoh and Ryan, Jake, not that there's anything wrong with killing sophomores.)
Beyer overwhelms offensive linemen with his initial burst off the ball and his hands are so quick, it must appear to the linemen that there's simply a flurry of movement in his face. Beyer has a terrific frame and sometimes seems to be made of elastic as he's able to lay out and contort his body to get a ball carrier trying to elude him. Simply needs to add weight and continue to get stronger to be a dominant defender - Scott Kennedy, Scout.com
Tim reported back that Beyer has an odd build with a long torso, long arms, and short legs but didn't know what to make of that, good or bad.
The scouting reports think the bit about the arms is good, anyway. A coach quote:
“I saw him do a 330-pound power clean. For a high school kid? Wow! His arms are so long, too. He’s got really long arms and knows how to use them. But he’s just so strong.” …
“You can’t block him one on one as a defensive end,” Sawchuk said. “He had those sacks against Rockford, and that’s a well-coached team.”
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.” …
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."
There may not have been a more impressive prospect at the camp … Beyer's first step was unmatched and there was not an offensive lineman in the camp that could keep him from turning the corner. With 4.5 speed and tremendous lateral quickness, Beyer could be a standout at either DE or LB.
All this and he's an excellent student (3.9 GPA, pursuit by Northwestern and Stanford) and citizen. A bit more from Sawchuk and Webb:
Sam Webb: In your experience with Brennen (Beyer) as a player over the years, just what [do] 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 tail 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.”
That's probably why he was the center of an "epic" M-ND battle that thankfully didn't turn out to be at all epic.
Downsides? There must be downsides since he's not rated higher. All right, yes, there is some disagreement about just how advanced Beyer's technique is. ESPN—the least enthusiastic of the services by a good distance—put out a report that's only middling($):
… He gets off the ball well. While he can tend to lose them at times for the most part he uses his hands well to take on blockers. He needs to watch his pad level, but flashes the ability to keep leverage and be tough at the point of attack. Displays the ability to shoot his hands and create some separation, bend at the knees, generate power from his lower body, and hold his ground. Does a good job of being able to stay square and work along the line of scrimmage. … He is a productive pass rusher. He will use his hands to punch and try and knock blockers out of their cylinder. Displays the ability to try and work to the shoulder and use a move to clear from the blocker.
That's a lot of "flashes," "can," and "displays." It's pretty positive overall but the implication is clear. TTB echoes:
Has a tendency to turn his shoulders, allowing blockers to get into his chest. He does not drive his feet when making contact with the ballcarrier; stronger runners will gain extra yards after contact. He needs to refine his pass rushing moves, because he uses virtually no technique aside from his speed. Beyer rarely uses his strength to overpower blockers or deliver a strong initial blow.
Don't let me take Magnus out of context here—that's just one part of the "weaknesses" section in a scouting report that praises his hands, agility, and dedication ("the definition of a high-motor player") before making the inevitable comparison to Roh. It's just that we're in the weaknesses bit of the profile.
There's also the usual bit about how high school player Brennen Beyer is in high school, which is not college, and if Brennen Beyer would like to play in college he should become college-sized. Everyone (ESPN, coach, TTB, Scout) says this shouldn't be a problem since he, like Chris Rock, has giant meaty bones on which to hang sheets of muscle.
So let's and then see what happens in two years. Hopefully something that sounds disgustingly like celery when we watch the replays of it twenty times.
LANSING -- The cheers and screaming fell silent in a matter of seconds for the Rockford football team and its fans.
Tears of joy quickly became tears of sorrow. A return trip to Ford Field and a chance at another Division 1 state championship was denied when Plymouth senior end Brennen Beyer made a game-winning touchdown catch with two Ram defenders in tight coverage in the back corner of the end zone with 4.5 seconds remaining. …
"(Beyer) is a great kid, and he just keeps playing," Plymouth coach Mike Sawchuk said. "As a coach, obviously, you have doubt (when they score that touchdown with just over a minute to play), but these kids never quit."
registered 65 tackles and 12 sacks at defensive end as a senior year... caught 31 passes for 10 TDs as a senior ... compiled 45 tackles, nine tackles for loss and nine sacks during his junior season ...
The skills he possesses are crazy," Brindza said of Beyer. "On defense, he comes off the ball so well and he's super-fast, so he's able to get to the quarterback quickly. On offense, he's a big, fast target with great hands. He can outjump a lot of defensive backs, which makes him hard to stop."
"He said they could see me playing a defensive end-linebacker hybrid position like Craig Roh's playing now for them. It's been exciting."
That was the Rodriguez crew, but there's no indication Hoke and company think any different. (Except for that linebacker business. Screw that in the ear.) They're recruiting Craig Roh WDE types in Mario Ojemudia and Pharoah Brown, so that spot will exist.
Roh, meanwhile, was a too-light 6'5"-ish pass rusher who high school offensive tackles thought had super powers. He had a bigger profile thanks to a standout performance at the UA game [Ed-M: and a bit more technical praise -- see: "crab people" meme)], but in all other ways Beyer is Roh-like.
Guru Reliability: Not quite high. Would have been nice to see Beyer go up against elite folk at an all-star game, as those are often illuminating when it comes to the best of the best. As it is there's a not-insignificant spread in his rankings from all-conference sort to good starter.
General Excitement Level: High. Near universal acclaim, impeccable academics, effort level widely praised, high level of athleticism, and good size. If there are any red flags for Beyer they are hard to make out. He'll need some time to get big, I guess.
Projection: Weakside DE is one spot where Michigan is fairly well stocked. Roh and Jibreel Black (and maybe Brandon Herron?) make for an enticing rotation, one that hopefully allows Beyer to redshirt. If Ryan Van Bergen's graduation forces Black to flip to the strongside—and it probably will since the other options are Rock, Heitzman, or a true freshman—Beyer will see plenty of time spelling Roh as a redshirt freshman in 2012. The starting spot will be his to lose in 2013.
Growing up in Plymouth, we all dreamed about playing football at the big house (as im sure many have). From pick up games before & after a Michigan victory, watching the goodyear blimp float its way to the stadium, to running back home in time to catch the Michigan marching band play "Hail to the Victors"! Its great to see another generation of athletes not have to think twice about playing for the greatest school in the nation.
You know what, if Brennan can come in and prove capable of playing time right away, I say why the hell not. We need help on Defense right?
From reading the profile and watching the film, this kid is a stud. Guys are leaving to go to the NFL early so much anymore that if Beyer was red shirted he would prolly be heading to the next level after RS Junior year if he's as good as he seems, there's no gaurantee he stays for a fifth year.
We need all the help we can get and with all the Defensive players we've recruited, guys have to start playing right away if they're capable, you can't RS everyone.
With the NFL Rookie Cap, I think players will want to get into that league ASAP so they can get to their 2nd and more lucrative contract.
There was another cat-quick Michigan defensive lineman a while back who was 6-3, 220 as a freshman, and he is still first or second in the MIchigan record book for season and career records for sacks, sack yardage, TFLs, and TFL yardage.