Brian Lewerke | Spartans All-Access | Michigan State Football

Brian Lewerke | Spartans All-Access | Michigan State Football

(slow melodic music) – [Angela] I see in him a lot of humility, more of a humble position. Very proud, very proud and very glad to see
that he is stepping up to the position that
he is, has been given. – [David] It’s not heroic, it’s just little small acts
of self sacrifice, right? Like, think of other people more than you think of yourself. That’s key, it’s not always easy, it’s not always something you want to do, but you know it’s the right thing to do. If you do the right thing,
the emotions come later. That’s kinda what we’ve
always told him, right? I mean, just do the right
thing and the rest’ll follow. – [Brian] I played baseball
growing up, I played football. I remember pitching in
a baseball game in like, some time in, maybe, late May or something and it was like 30 degrees and raining. So that’s kinda (chuckles) my memory of baseball in Washington. But it was a good place. – [Angela] Brian, as a
child, like, young age, knew, like, all the
baseball players in Seattle. Loved them, really young. Just really had this focus on sports and it wasn’t just one sport, he loved all sports. – [David] The bull in a
china closet, for sure. He never had bad intentions, he just (laughs) he just broke things. You know, he was just
the biggest kid around and didn’t mean it. So we had to tell him, “Hey, you’re really strong. “Just, you gotta know that, right? “Be slower, don’t swing
the bat inside the house.” – [Brian] I started, it was
tag football in fourth grade. Put my helmet on, started
crying ’cause my helmet hurt. (chuckles) I told my coach and he found
me a new helmet, or whatever. But that was just kinda the first time. And I really wanted to play receiver, that was my, I always
loved catching the ball. I would always go out and play catch with my dad in our street. I think that’s why I have
such great hands now, I kinda like to brag
about ’em a little bit. But I really wanted to play receiver and then my dad was like “Hey, I think you should
try out quarterback. “I think that’s a good position for you.” – [David] I called the coach and, having never done this before, “Hey, Brian’s my son.” and he said “Great, what
position does he play?” and I said “Well, I think
he plays quarterback.” and he says “Mr. Lewerke,
everyone’s father says “they ought to play quarterback.” And, obviously, I was like “Okay, sorry. “He just wants to be on the field, “just put him in any position “you want to put him in, right?” And so he did. And by the third practice,
he was a quarterback. (chuckles) And it wasn’t
because he’d throw a lot, he just, because at that age, you just simply gotta know the game and you gotta be athletic. And it happened to be the position where the coach thought
would be best for him. (commentator drowned out
by shouts from crowd) (cheers and applause) – You know, I obviously did not know how to throw at all in fourth grade. I remember I was just trying
to figure out how to throw and I would experiment with a ton of different grips on the ball. And there was one time I held the ball, just completely the
entire ball in my palm, which is not even close to how you’re supposed
to throw a football. And it was mostly just me
running the ball. (chuckles) We would have a play, it
was this quarterback sweep. I’d just take from our defender and run around the corner and I’d make people miss, go 60 yards or whatever for a touchdown. Eighth, ninth grade area is where I kinda realized that this is my natural spot and I really wanted to play this. That was kinda when I started training, when we went and moved to Arizona. It was a little unexpected, I think. It was a mix between my
dad’s company got bought out, so he lost his job and he found one in Arizona, which also happened to be where his side of the family live. And I think he kinda wanted to
see his family a little more. I think part of it also
was that Arizona football was a little better than Washington and my dad kinda wanted to give me the best opportunity that
I could in high school. Little bit of mixed
emotions when it happens, ’cause that was where I grew up. Everyone I knew, all my friends. So I obviously had to
make brand new friends and transition to a place that’s sunny about 300 days a year. So that was definitely a
big change, I would say. That was my first year
of starting on varsity, my junior year, so try’na figure out how to,
you know, just make plays in a big time environment,
in a big time offense. And that entire season, I guess, would just kind of encompass what it means to be a quarterback and the chances I had for myself to play at the next level. – [Commentator] But Brian
Hoyer will play fake it, toss it left side, six yards, Rouse! Into the end zone! Touchdown, MSU! – [Commentator] Kirk under center, play fakes to Le’Vion going left, rolls back to his right. Time to direct some traffic, now throws to the end zone. Leaping grab made by B.J.! Touchown, MSU! – [Commentator] Cook,
Nichol, blitzer picked up. Touchdown, Tony Lippett! The junior from Detroit against the blitz. – [David] Well, we knew
this was Quarterback U. That was a big part of the draw, right. We knew this was gonna be a
place where quarterbacks go on. And that’s always been his
dream, play in the NFL. – [Brian] Just the tradition that Michigan State has established here has been incredible. The quarterbacks that they’ve put out, obviously that was big in my decision. I wanted to go to a place that would be good for the next level. And the pro-style offense that
we have here was key in that. That first time I visited here and met all the people around here, there was just a different feel and I could tell that God was kinda try’na tell me something, that this is the place
that he wanted me to go. – [Angela] I just knew that under coach D, that he was going to be, to grow in his faith, he
was gonna be strengthened, that he would not be brought down. (muffled rock music) (whistle blows) – [Commentator] Lewerke
flushed from the pocket, rolls to his left. Being chased, still has
it at the 30, the 25. Get down there and has a first down at the 24 yard line in Wisconsin– – [Brian] It was definitely
a fantastic experience to get in the game. Sure didn’t mean a lot to most
people that were watching, but it meant a lot to me just to be able to get my
first college experience in the Michigan game. And, you know, when I
was kinda feeling good and got back in there, almost got our team back
to a winning position. I ended up breaking my leg and that was a little unfortunate but looking back on it, it was for the better for me. Put on a little bit of
pounds that I needed just by not being able to run and mostly lifting upper body type stuff. – [Commentator] Shotgun snap. Looks right, now looks
left, he’ll run left. He’s inside the five,
dives to the goal line! Into the end zone! Touchdown, MSU! – [Commentator] Left of Lewerke. He’ll step to his left, plant that right foot
and throw the ball deep. Got a man wide open, it’s
Felton Davis at the 10! He’s into the end zone! Touchdown, MSU! – [Brian] There was a lot of games that we could’ve lost in 2017 that we ended up winning. And there was a lot of games
that we could’ve won in 2018, that we ended up losing. So, you know, the difference
between those is so small and whether it’s an injury, or whether it’s one play
that you don’t make. But just going through the ups and downs of those
years, you learn things. You obviously wanna stay in
the highs as long as you can. My parents, my friends and my faith are probably the three biggest
things that get me going. Relying on them and they’ll
give me advice when I need it. And just talking with
them as much as I can. – [Mark] When you play
quarterback in Michigan State, you are a big name guy. There’s a lot of responsibility there, there’s a big huge fan interest in you and there’s a lot of pressure on you. Brian, I think, very similar
to Kirk in a lot of ways in terms of his faith, I think, in terms of how he came in here. Three year quarterback, second year being named captain. Student of the game type guy. He’s a little bit like Connor Cook in the fact that he’s sort of a guy that can sling it down the field. You know, he’s got a good arm strength and those type of things. Little bit like Brian Hoyer, he’s sort of a combination of both. He has the ability to
run with the football, maybe more than any
quarterback that we’ve had. He’s the only quarterback
in Michigan State history that has thrown for 25 hundred yards and run for 500. (muffled chatter) – [Brian] Obviously, the quarterback is kind of the face of a program and probably the most recognizable person. So I kind of use that to my advantage in ways that I can help in the community and St. Baldrick’s was one of ’em, when I shaved my head. That was a great time with, you know, I think probably four or
five other football players and never had my hair that short
before probably. (chuckles) Especially after I was, you know, kinda known for having the long hair. I think that was big for that organization and just for MSU football as a whole. And there have been other opportunities that I’ve had across the community just to be able to help. And I think it’s been good for me, but more importantly, it’s
been good for everyone else. You got me? Give it to me, yes sir. You really get to notice that, you know, at the events
like Meet The Spartans or the Kid’s Clinics we put
on before the spring game. Just to be able to be in that environment and see what kinda
impact you make on kids, it obviously feels very good for me and I try to do my best
to make them feel special, make them feel welcome. ‘Cause I know any kid out
there can play quarterback and I just kinda wanna be able to give that opportunity
to anyone that I can. – What do I hope for him here? That he comes away with it knowing that he did all that he could to be a good representation
of what the program is and what coach D has helped
instill in him, as a man. (marching band music) – [Brian] I wanna be a guy that brought success to the
football team as a whole. Maybe beyond that, I wanna
be a guy that was dependable and never gave up, despite his position, whether it was good or bad. I wanna be resilient and have that guy that when people look back
on Michigan State football, they say “Brian Lewerke,
he was a great person “outside the community, as well
as within the football team “and he was a great leader.” (crowd cheers) (dramatic upbeat music)

About the Author: Garret Beatty


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