10 Questions with Bryan Ehrlich
(The first in what we hope is a sustained series spotlighting recruits who might be getting overlooked. This Q&A was done over the Christmas break, but we waited until recruiting season is at its peak.)
The San Antonio Madison Mavericks improved on a 5-5 2006 record by going 13-2 and a spot in the 5A semi-finals. One of the stars of the team was QB Bryan Ehrlich, who completed 56% of his passes, for 1,964 yds, 24 TDs and only 9 Ints.
Christmas has just passed, and the new year is almost upon us. We were fortunate enough to catch Bryan in between the holidays for a few questions.
Scoop: You leave Madison after an outstanding season last fall. What do you think your lasting memories of your high school career will be?
Bryan Ehrlich (BE): The outstanding teamwork that our team had to go through to reach the state semi- finals. Our team had a lot of bumps in the road, but we just kept playing to the best or our ability.
Scoop: The Mavericks were riding high, undefeated through 6 games, when star RB Devin Thomas was lost for the season. His replacement Josh Miles filled in admirably, but was lost as well right before the playoffs. How were you and your teammates able to overcome those losses and make it to the semifinals?
BE: It was tough to see two great players go down. Not only were they great on the field, but they both happened to be two of my best friends. I told the team that with our two starting runningbacks out, everybody else had to step up and do the little things right if we want to make a deep run into the playoffs. As it turned out everybody rose to the ocassion and we accomplished a lot of things that many people thought we couldn't.
Scoop: Did you believe you had a realistic chance to overcome a 21 pt deficit in the fourth quarter against Smithson Valley in the Region IV final? What kept the team from giving up? In your wildest dreams, would you have dreamt 4 TD passes in one quarter? How did you feel after the game?
BE: We never lost doubt in any game this season. Even when we were down by 30 to Katy we just kept on fighting. Against SV I walked the sidelines trying to think of something to say to our team to keep them from giving up. Then I started to look at them and noticed they were just as pumped as I was. So I told the team that I knew that I could count on them (they had proven that to me) and it was time for everybody to put their full belief in what I was doing out there. They laughed and told me that they always had. Then in the 4th quarter we came out firing and I just made enough plays to win the game. Coach asked me to throw the ball and I did; yea the 4 td's was awesome, but winning the ball game in OT was probably one of the best things that I have ever been apart of in my life. After the game I was rushed by reporters and I couldn't help but scream into the microphone as they kept asking their questions. As I walked off of that field that day, tears started dripping from my eyes, I couldn't have been any happier than that.
Scoop: You didn't have this problem much last year - losses. How do you deal with setbacks? What was tougher, the 3 point loss to Judson (on a FG as time expired) or the 66-21 loss to Katy in the state semifinals?
BE: I play every game to win. Their is one thing that I hate more than anything in life; losing. I will never tolerate it and it doesn't matter how many points you lost by or to what team. Both losses were devastating because I told our team before the season started that we were going to be 16-0 and State Champs. Being the QB I know now that there was things that I could have done differently in both games, but God has a reason for everything; and those two days were just days that were in his plan.
Scoop: Who was the best player you saw this year on an opposing team? Do you study what they do on the field that makes them successful?
BE: I think there was two people that I didn't want to see anywhere near a ball I threw. Trent Hunter from Katy, and Dominick Maddox from Jusdon. I though Trent was just a flat out athlete. We watched so much film that I could almost tell you every exact way that he could intercept a pass. He has good speed and average size, but his athleticism put him above a lot of people. Then Maddox was just a raw athlete who could take a pic to the house, or lay the wood to you. When we watched film on him I could count the number of kids that he had shaken up badly from hits. He has great coverage ability and great recovery speed. I don't think too many people would want to go head up with him.
Scoop: If I'm a coach, why would I want a person like you on my team? What are your best qualities?
BE: I am a true leader, and I do things on and off the field correctly and with manners to others. Anywhere I go I want to win. I don't care if it's a school that went 12-0 or 0-12, I know that I bring something to the table that will help either team. I'm not the fastest guy in the world but my pocket prescense is tremendous, and my best ability is giving the ball to our best play makers. I don't care if it's a shovel pass, a handoff, or just a dropback pass where I have to throw it 60 yards. I will put any team in a great position to win.
Scoop: What player, college or pro, do you play most like?
BE: I think I have the scrappy abilty that Brett Favre has. He doesn't always put up the huge numbers, but he always makes enough plays to win the game. He is a great manager of the game, and I think I have the same ability to look at a defense, and be able to put our team in the best possible play to succeed.
Scoop: Have you decided on a major for college? What kind of career would you like to have.
BE: I think am going to major in business. My dad owns a construction business so it could be a great possibilty for me to work for him and one day take his company over. Or on the other hand if my football career extended past the college ranks then I would know how and what to do with my money.
Scoop: Have any LSC schools been recruiting you? Do you have a favorite?
BE: Midwestern St. gave me a call once. I havn't heard from them since so I don't know whats going on. I do not have a favotite. I don't like to follow certain teams because I do not care what college I go to. I know whoever gives me that one chance will have a hardworking QB on there hands.
Scoop: Any advice for guys coming up next year on how to prepare themselves for college, both on the field and in the classroom?
BE: Keeping your grades up is imperitive to being a student athlete. There's a couple of people that I know that are not able to go D- I because of there academic problems. I always knew that if I kept my grades up, that would give a great chance at playing college ball. I strived to be in NHS and I am now a member, so anything extra that you can do would be a positive. While studying is important, I think on the field and in the weight room, you have to buy in to the team concept. Nothing is done with an I, because there is no I in TEAM. I was able to look people square in the eyes and they would know that no matter what I was about to tell them, it would be for the best to them and our team. When people have faith in you and what you do, you are able to lead to where there is no limits. And outside of that you have to wear your body down as far as you possibly can before you can begin to get better. Putting your body through hell every day of the offseason is what it takes to become successful.
Scoop: Thanks Bryan and best of luck to you in the future