Chancellor Brewington would have come back to Nebraska. No doubt about it. He even planned on it, until the NCAA denied his request. The last grain of sand in his eligibility hourglass fell to the bottom.
He returned to the Nebraska athletic facilities for Pro Day on Wednesday morning. Where he’d rather prepare for a 2023 season, he’s instead focused on his NFL Draft profile. The self-contained charismatic tight end received vocal encouragements from his former teammates as he moved from the weight room to the Hawks Championship Center. Each rep and each drill brought immense pressure. One eye-catching measurement could lead to another year in football. Wherever the next step in his football career is, it won’t be where he initially planned.
Brewington played in 22 games at Nebraska across two seasons, including every one for the Huskers’ last season. This followed a 21-game career spanning four seasons at Northern Arizona. The Chandler, Arizona, native started nine games at receiver for the Lumberjacks as a freshman. His production dipped slightly as a sophomore but totaled over 640 yards in those two seasons. Then he missed 2019 because of injury. The NCAA granted him a redshirt season. The COVID year followed. FCS schools competed in the spring of 2021 instead of fall 2020. Except, Brewington also missed that season to injury. He transferred to Nebraska for two seasons in hopes of the third. The NCAA blanket granted an extra year of eligibility to anyone competing in 2020–21. Because of that extra eligibility, they didn’t grant Brewington an extra year for redshirting that season.
The NCAA told him, technically, the COVID year didn’t count. By its interpretation of its own rule, neither did his season-ending injury. He said he would have absolutely returned and “wouldn’t think twice about it.” Instead, he finished his Husker career with 14 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
He’s since solemnly turned the page. He loves Nebraska and his former teammates but knows that year of eligibility still isn’t happening. So when the season ended, with his eligibility exhausted, he declared for the NFL Draft.
“I’m thankful for it,” Brewington said of it all. “Because, at the end of the day, everything is going to work out for good.”
Without an invitation to the NFL Combine, Brewington waited until Pro Day. One day, nearly four months after his last collegiate game, to prove he’s deserving of a shot at professional football. The dream of any young football player. All for 90 minutes of actual action. He returned to Arizona to train four hours a day for 11 weeks. His preparation plan included target times and weight. After fluctuating, they agreed he should aim for 222 pounds by Pro Day so he stayed big but didn’t lose any speed. That’s what he weighed on Wednesday.
Brewington found it draining but rewarding and felt confident returning to Lincoln.
“For the most part I thought it was good,” Brewington said. “Came out, competed and that’s all we could ask for.”
Official results from that day still aren’t available. The Arizona native didn’t know the results of some drills immediately afterward. He heard he ran a 4.4 40 but didn’t know for sure. He knew for sure he jumped 36.5 inches in the vertical. Brewington smiled at that admission afterwards. Representatives from all 32 NFL teams saw his performances on the practice field and in the weight room. Nebraska gave him the stage and and performed, albeit with a curtain call he’d like back.
Whatever happens with the draft process, he’s fine with waiting. He didn’t break through the lineup at Nebraska initially either. With patience and determination he got there, becoming a typical starter for the Huskers.
“I think it’s just staying true to the course,” he said. “That’s a testament for the guys who come after me. They can look at my progression here and they can just see someone who just stayed the course and didn’t give up.”
He briefly paused his training after Pro Day to let his body catch up to the work he invested. That allowed him to soak in the joy he felt afterwards. Then it’s back to the work. Specific NFL teams like to contact aspiring pros for workouts between pro days and the draft.
Another month sits between the now and the potential future. Nebraska’s former tight end wants to be ready for it. No more dwelling on the past, only appreciation for where it’s gotten him.