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Brusko Has Become Jack of All Trades for Maine
While he would prefer to play QB, he has done much more.
Mike Brusko has played almost every position at the University of Maine this season.
He hasn’t played the offensive and defensive lines, field goal kicker or holder, but, if asked, the former Emmaus High star would probably accept the challenge.
Brusko, a 6-foot-3, 226-pound redshirt junior, was recruited as a quarterback, but this season he’s proved valuable to the Black Bears at multiple positions.
‘’I'm just trying to embrace every opportunity that I get,'’ said Brusko, who will be quarterbacking when Black Bears (3-3, 1-2) host Hofstra (3-3, 1-1) at 3 p.m. today at Alfond Stadium in Orono, Maine.
Last week, Brusko replaced injured quarterback Adam Farkas in the second quarter with Maine trailing then 24th-ranked Delaware 10-3 and the former Green Hornet finished with his best all-around game since graduating from Emmaus in 2005.
Before taking over for Farkas, Brusko had already caught two passes for 13 yards. While at the helm, he completed five of seven passes for 65 yards, rushed nine times for 40 yards and a touchdown and led Maine to the 27-10 Colonial Athletic Association victory.
Here’s two more highlights: Brusko also punted once for 32 yards and made one assisted tackle on special teams.
‘’I just do my best to be prepared at multiple positions,'’ said Brusko, who was actually the starting holder in 2006. ‘’I give us some things in all my roles, whether it’s receiver, quarterback or special teams.'’
At Emmaus, Brusko played quarterback, free safety and linebacker and was named to The Morning Call All-Area second team as a defensive back in 2004. He also earned first-team Lehigh Valley Conference honors at quarterback and defensive back.
But Brusko went to Maine hoping only to play quarterback.
After redshirting in his freshman year, he posted a 3-3 record as the Black Bears’ starting QB in ‘07. The games he didn’t start, Maine offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kevin Bourgoin said had nothing to do with Brusko’s ability, but more to do with the offensive game plan and the fact that Farkas could pass better.
That’s why Farkas started the Bears’ first six games this season, but all Farkas did was pass. Brusko, on the other hand, has played multiple positions and is a little upset that he might only play quarterback today.
Brusko has already asked the Maine coaches if he can also play special teams. The coaches applaud his attitude.
‘’He’s got great leadership skills,'’ Bourgoin said. ‘’He can do a lot of things for you.
‘’He is a good football player. You can ask him to go out play receiver for you. He can run the football. He can throw the ball, catch the ball.'’
But the position Brusko favors the most is quarterback. He has completed six of eight passes for 18 yards this season and rushed 19 times for 59 yards but, with Farkas sidelined today, Brusko’s statistics will significantly increase.
A great game, however, won’t guarantee that Brusko remains the starter once Farkas, a sophomore, returns because Bourgoin said Maine has an open competition each week at every position.
‘’Competition is a good thing,'’ Bourgoin said.
Brusko’s attitude is even better.
‘’He just wants to do what’s best for the football team.'’ Bourgoin said. ‘’He’s been a great leader, hard worker at practice, spends a lot of time watching film, does a great job with the younger players, great job in meetings.'’
Brusko has become jack of all trades for Maine
By Andre D. Williams of The Morning Call