How the Vols Landed Brian Maurer Instead of Ohio State

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    (Photo via @maurerera_2 on Twitter)

    Tennessee picked up a commitment from fast-rising 2019 quarterback Brian Maurer last week. The Vols offered Maurer when he came and camped with them from June 19-21, and he ended up committing to Tennessee a week later. But the Vols’ newest QB commit was almost an Ohio State Buckeye.

    Maurer went to Ohio State’s campus shortly after leaving Knoxville to camp with the Buckeyes. Just like with Tennessee, Maurer picked up an offer from the Buckeyes while camping with them. That weekend, Maurer was planning on committing to Ohio State after spending a lot of time with head coach Urban Meyer and his staff.

    But the winds of Fate ended up blowing in Tennessee’s favor, and Maurer never committed to Ohio State. Why? Because the Buckeyes picked another quarterback over him.

    According to an article from Bill Landis of Cleveland.com, Maurer was a victim of the always-vicious game of quarterback recruiting in college football. Originally, Maurer was supposed to be the only quarterback on Ohio State’s campus during the last full weekend in June. But then a surprise visitor showed up and changed everything.

    Four-star quarterback Dwan Mathis — who was committed to Michigan State at the time — had been a big target for Ohio State’s coaching staff ever since they offered him in early May of this year. They were able to convince him to come to campus before the summer recruiting dead period hit, and he showed up the same weekend Maurer was camping with the Buckeyes.

    And Maurer wasn’t very happy about the situation.

    “When Dwan showed up it made me mad because they said ‘you’re the only kid here, you’re the guy we want, we’re gonna work you out and then offer you,'” Maurer said at The Opening Finals on Saturday. “When that happened, there were some mixed emotions there.”

    Mathis ended up flipping his commitment from Michigan State to Ohio State on Sunday, June 24th. And Maurer went from having a plan to suddenly not knowing what to do.

    “Being that Ohio State was coming at me hard, and then next thing you know Ohio State is off my board, it kind of changed my mind,” Maurer stated. “I would have loved to play for Ohio State, but sometimes you have to come to real terms with yourself.”

    Ohio State only has room for one quarterback in their 2019 class, and they preferred Mathis over Maurer. The Buckeyes’ staff had a longer relationship with Mathis and had been trying for a while to get him to come visit. Maurer was a late addition to their recruiting board, and while Ohio State liked everything they saw from him when he camped and ultimately gave him a committable offer, Mathis was their top choice.

    A few days later, Maurer chose Tennessee instead of Ohio State. And the Vols are certainly happy he did.

    Maurer is one of only 12 quarterbacks to be invited to The Opening Finals that are currently taking place. And according to Greg Biggins of 247Sports, he’s already off to a strong start.

    “Maurer had a good day throwing the ball and got better as the day went along,” Biggins wrote. “Had momentum coming in after a standout Elite 11 performance and is throwing with a lot of confidence right now.”

    The 6-foot-3, 180-pound pro-style quarterback from Ocala, Florida has seen his stock rise steadily this summer with his performances at various camps. And he has a chance to really make a name for himself at Nike’s The Opening this weekend into the work week.

    Tennessee, unlike Ohio State, may be looking to add two quarterbacks to their 2019 class. So they had no problem taking Maurer’s commitment while also targeting a few other signal callers in this cycle. And Maurer may have a chip on his shoulder moving forward after how things turned out with the Buckeyes.

    The Vols have caught a lot of bad breaks over the last decade. But it looks like this was something that broke in their favor, and Maurer’s future certainly looks bright.