Ryan Manalac always made sure to let Davin Brewton know when Pitt was playing last fall, and Brewton, to his credit, made sure to tune in when at all possible.
Aside from an in-person appearance for the Pitt-Syracuse matchup at Acrisure Stadium, Brewton was seated on his couch to watch Pitt take on Tennessee, Duke and UCLA. And as he watched the TV, his focus always ended up on SirVocea Dennis.
It makes sense considering Brewton is a 6-foot-1, 220-pound linebacker from Red Bank Catholic in Red Bank, New Jersey. He’s an ‘undersized’ middle linebacker himself.
“I feel like me and (Dennis) kind of play a little of the same type of football, so it was pretty cool to see him play out there,” Brewton told PSN. “He’s a big role model for me.”
Dennis isn’t around all that much anymore, not since he declared for the 2023 NFL Draft in April, but he’s made an impact on Brewton. As has a Junior Day visit to Pittsburgh over the weekend.
— Davin Brewton (@dav_brewt) January 22, 2023
Brewton, who has also received offers from Massachusetts, Maryland, Syracuse, Tulane and West Virginia, originally received his offer from wide receivers coach Tiquan Underwood back in October.
He made it out for the Syracuse game about a month later, getting the chance to meet Dennis himself and watch a big win over a then-ranked Orange squad in person, and he made it back out Saturday for another chance to check out the program.
“The visit was great,” Brewton said. “That was my second time actually going there, and I just love it. The coaches are super cool, the atmosphere of the basketball game was great, everyone all around was just great and showed so much love.”
Brewton was able to conversate with a few of Pitt’s coaches Saturday, but he spent a lot of his time with Manalac. He joined Manalac in the linebacker’s room to watch film, seeing how Pitt’s linebackers operate in the defensive scheme and trying to figure out if he was a fit. He ended up seeing a lot of good things on tape.
He’s able to relate well to Manalac, who like Dennis, Brewton said is a really good guy.
“We have a lot in common,” Brewton said. “Not the tallest person ever, but we’re both dawgs. We both find the ball; we both just want to attack. The thing I love about Pitt and the linebacker room is everything is about being physical and just trying to put someone put on the field.
“They showed a lot of things that I love doing, so that was the good part about it.”
Brewton serves as the centerpiece in Red Bank Catholic’s defense, filling the middle linebacker role, and in just five games recorded on MaxPreps, he recorded team-highs in tackles (42), tackles for loss (nine) and sacks (two) and he added a fumble recovery.
As an ‘undersized’ linebacker, he flashes aggression and a nose for the football on every single play, consistently making a bee line for the ball carrier. It’s hard to teach.
And of course, some advice from Dennis in the Pitt locker room following the Syracuse game may or may not have helped shape Brewton into the player he is today.
Neither 247Sports nor Rivals have rated Brewton yet, but he’s seeing more interest from college programs of late. And he’s planning visits to Tulane and West Virginia, among other programs, in the days and weeks to come.
And after two visits to Pittsburgh, getting to see just about everything the program has to offer at this point, he’s found himself in a good relationship with Pitt’s coaches.
“Pitt definitely stands high in my list,” Brewton said. “Just going there, I can see a lot of people have bright futures coming out of Pitt, so it definitely sits high with me.”