The hardest hit by a Lake Travis player during spring drills in 2015 was delivered by a former wide receiver. It was a sophomore named Cade Brewer.
Brewer wasn’t necessarily keen on the move from wide receiver to H-Back when it was presented to him by the coaching staff at Lake Travis. Growing up in a spread, most players dream of playing quarterback, running back or wide receiver. Brewer could catch the ball like a wide receiver. He just wasn’t used to the physicality.
The emerging prospect played for the Cavaliers as a sophomore. He struggled to make an impact, finishing the season with three receptions and a touchdown in five games. The hit he delivered in spring practice changed perception. Brewer was building confidence, and strength. He was ready to help Lake Travis reach new heights in Class 6A.
“His size makes him a nightmare matchup,” Lake Travis head coach Hank Carter said. “We knew once he took to playing H-Back that his potential was unlimited. He’s one of the best players we’ve had come through Lake Travis because of his blend of size and athleticism. That hit gave him confidence. He’s a quiet kid, so it was definitely something good for him to experience early.”
Brewer’s evolution in the spring of his sophomore year resulted in 48 more receptions as a junior. He went from an afterthought to a cog. He racked up 51 receptions for 813 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior. Lake Travis fell to an all-time good Katy team in the Class 6A Division II state final.
The team finished the job in 2016, marching to a state title game after suffering a loss to Converse Judson in Week 1. Lake Travis became the best team in the state, and Brewer was a major reason. Brewer caught a career-high 62 receptions, finishing with 813 yards and 13 receiving touchdowns. He added three more on the ground.
“We knew Cade would be good from middle school. He and Charlie (Brewer) played on the same team since third grade and we knew that group would be special once they hit seventh and eighth grade, Carter said. “Cade’s older brother was a good player for us, and his dad was a college athlete, so he always had those expectations. Catching the ball came naturally for him. All he had to do was become a better blocker, and he knew it was what he needed to do for the team. He embraced it and he’s come into his own.”
— Cade Brewer (@CadeBrew10) December 23, 2016
Cade Brewer’s exploits caught the attention of college coaches. He eventually committed to SMU and former Lake Travis head coach Chad Morris despite offers from Power 5 programs like Texas A&M and Oklahoma. The Longhorns sniffed around with Charlie Strong at the helm, but the style of play at Texas didn’t fit with his skill set. He decided on SMU. And then Herman was hired at Texas and Brewer flipped his commitment to Texas after the season.
“I know coach (Tom) Herman spent time around Chad Morris when Herman was at Ohio State. Those are similar offenses in how they use an H-Back,” Carter said. “There are similarities I think he likes in what we do and what Texas wants to do.”