James Brewer's switch brings him to Super Bowl XLVI

FootballBasketballIndiana HoosiersHigh SchoolsSuper BowlJames BrewerESPNU (tv network)

Just think, all he wanted to do was play basketball.

Could you blame James Brewer? In high school a growth spurt had him at six-foot-nine before his senior year, easily making him one of the biggest players even in the competitive Central Indiana scene.

Larry Nicks has the same thing in mind when he received a phone call from Brewers' parents after he made the move to Arlington High School for his final year.

"Because he was 6-9 and he was a good kid and a good student, I decided we definitely have a uniform for him," said Nicks, the basketball coach and athletic director at the school.

Still, there was a little something more that he hoped to get out of his new big man as long as he was donning the school's colors of black and gold. Call it an exchange of sorts.

"I said 'Do me a favor, if we're gonna do this, I want you to go out and play football this year,'" said Nicks to a basketball-minded Brewer.

Little did he know what he had just done.

A half-a-decade later Brewer was back in Indianapolis standing at the 40-yard-line of Lucas Oil Stadium on Tuesday. An odd-shaped microphone was the first to come by, followed by another from ESPNU. Add in a dash of typical tape recorders and the madness is underway.

"It's definitely living up to all the hype," said Brewer of his ideas of what Super Bowl Media Day might be. "I'm just trying to enjoy it."

Don't blame Giants offensive lineman if he might have seemed a tad star-crossed at the prospect of being apart of Super Bowl XLVI. After all his rise up the ranks in football was quick and very much unexpected when he agreed to Nick's pseudo-terms for joining the basketball team.

"To get in shape, really, for basketball," said Brewer when remember the arguments that Nicks made for him to come out for the team.

Nicks concurred with that agreement, since at that point Brewer had yet to play a varsity sports and it would give him valuable training for the upcoming basketball season.

"I talked to my dad and my mom and they both said it was something I should just try," said Brewer. "So I figured 'I'm a senior, why not.'"

Brewer was introduced to then Arlington head coach Rob Patchett, who brought him onto the squad and put him on the offensive line.

"They took him under their wing," remembered Nicks-and it wasn't long before the new lineman's prospect began to take off.

Midway through the season he was already receiving offers from schools and by the end had committed to then head coach Terry Hoeppner at Indiana. Though he possessed just a single season of playing experience, the subtle talents of Brewer's technique were enough to warrant the scholarship.

"I did it, I liked it, and I was good at it naturally and it opened up a lot of opportunities," said Brewer-and they were opened wide.

Despite a few bouts with injury in his career in Bloomington, Brewer was able to start the final two years with the Hoosiers. His play and performance in the NFL Combine was enough to get him drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round.

Brewer cracked the teams' 53-man roster but was inactive for all 16 games this season, but with the when the team made the Super Bowl he had the chance to return to his home city. He won't be playing on Sunday, but he'll there to take it all in-and revel at the unforeseen journey just taken.

"You wonder what might have been had I just tried to be the next Sean May," said Brewer, referring to the power forward who gained prominence at North Carolina.

Luckily he listened to is coach.

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