LAWRENCEVILLE - When Tim Hardy accepted the job as Mountain View's first head football coach, he had an offensive plan.
A product of a pass-heavy scheme at Wheaton College, where he played and also coached for the past nine years, all he needed was a well-armed quarterback.
Enter Charlie Brower.
Just a few days after school released in late May, the rising junior elected to leave Mill Creek, where he had played his first two high school seasons. Some of his best friends planned to attend Mountain View and the new high school had its benefits.
It certainly benefited Hardy, who got a 6-foot-3, 190-pound quarterback with a strong arm. It was an appreciated welcome-to-Georgia gift.
"I'm really thankful for Charlie," Hardy said. "He has a lot of maturity. He carries himself with a lot of maturity and exudes that maturity to our team that is very young. His role is extremely important as a mature quarterback and leader. He's also really intelligent. He's great in school and picks up our stuff extremely quick. He always has questions and he's analyzing the opponent.
"To have a guy who's running your offense who's good at what he does, but also carries himself in a way that makes people around him better, is a huge benefit for us."
Unlike some of his friends, Brower doesn't live in the Mountain View district. But he was allowed to attend the new high school as a permissive transfer - meaning his school change was approved by the county.
The move allowed him to enroll at the new school and play on the Bears' first football team, which is playing a junior varsity schedule. He will have to play JV basketball since the school's hoops team has a varsity region schedule.
Brower liked Mill Creek, but said the decision to transfer wasn't too difficult.
"I just wanted to get a new opportunity, a new school, get more involved in the school," Brower said. "Mill Creek, with 4,200 kids, it's harder to get involved in the school. There's smaller class size here.
"One of the things that made it a lot easier is I had a lot of friends coming here with me. It would have been different if I didn't have them coming with me. I knew quite a few guys."
In addition to the usual summer work, Brower took a crash course in Hardy's offense. The coach was impressed with how quickly his new pupil learned it, but he wasn't surprised for a student with a 3.8 GPA who plans to major in either aeronautical or civil engineering in college.
"It was a lot of studying, a lot of time here with (Hardy) going over plays," Brower said. "I got a playbook pretty early so I just kept on looking over that. It took me about halfway through the summer to master a few of them. It took a little time."
It didn't take him too long to become a major part of a football team loaded with sophomores and freshmen.
He assumed the starting quarterback job (he's 19 of 28 passing for 319 yards in two games), as well as the kicking duties (8-for-8 on PATs, 6 of 11 kickoffs for touchbacks). In need of a punter, the Bears asked him to give it a shot. He's now the punter, too, which came naturally to a former soccer goalie (who averages 37.5 yards per punt).
Hardy said the junior has been just as important in a leadership role. Brower was very vocal in the school's first football game - a 29-22 win over fellow newcomer Archer - in addition to his play on the field.
"The leadership changed a lot (by coming to Mountain View)," Brower said. "I was an underclassman there and now I'm an upperclassman here. Now I have to set an example for the younger guys.
"One of the biggest things about football is leadership and learning life lessons. That's a big part of it. Hopefully that helps me here and in the future."
Mountain View's inaugural schedule is filled with junior varsity opponents, so Brower won't be tested as much as he may be elsewhere with a varsity schedule. But Hardy, speaking with a decade of college coaching experience, doesn't think it will hurt Brower in the eyes of college scouts.
He will still have the offseason and a 2010 season against varsity competition to impress the recruiters.
"I think there's potential for him (at the college level)," Hardy said. "From the end of our season to next season is going to be a big eight months for Charlie Brower. He'll have to develop himself physically and take the next step quarterback-wise in terms of timing, accuracy, those things. But when it comes to arm strength and being able to put the ball in tough spots, he can play. He can be a college football player."
SideBar: THE BROWER FILE
Who: Charlie Brower
School: Mountain View
Favorite TV show: "Big Brother"
Favorite sports team: Ohio State
Dream job: Play in the NFL
On being QB, kicker and punter: "You've just got to stay on your toes, really. You don't get a lot of time to practice the punting and kicking, quarterback's the main thing. But when I do get to practice punting and kicking, I take it pretty seriously."
· Played first two high school seasons at Mill Creek
· Has completed 19 of 28 passes for 319 yards and two TDs in two games
· Maintains a 3.8 GPA
· Also plans to play basketball for Mountain View