Oct. 20, 2003
By Jamail Buchanan, Stanford Media Relations Student Assistant
Brett Pierce, starting tight end for the Stanford Cardinal, is the ultimate team player. He does what it takes to win. And he's a major reason the Cardinal has gotten off to an impressive start this season with a young team.
Coming off an ACL injury suffered in the first quarter of the first game that caused him to miss the entire 2002 season, Brett enjoyed a productive training camp that put him in position for the starting spot at tight end. His ability to block effectively, catch the ball over the middle, as well as his unrelenting passion have all allowed him to help out the Cardinal offense drastically. Pierce is expected to emerge as one of the top tight ends in the Pac-10.
"When I discovered that the meniscus was torn in my left knee, I was unbelievably disappointed," Pierce said. "We had such a successful season in 2001 overall, I could not wait to get out on the field and help my team win some games. Then the unfortunate injury happened, and that was that. The toughest part for me last season was watching my team and not being able to help them in any way, except emotionally. Being a competitor, it's hard sitting on the sidelines when you know that you can make a difference."
The injury, however, did not preclude Brett from coming back stronger than ever. Many others would fold under the pressure of rehabilitation and working to reach previous form, but Pierce was determined to return and make his presence felt.
"The thought of winning games was enough to motivate me to put in the time and effort to get back to form. Now here I am, ready to play and ready to dominate."
In his 2001 campaign, Pierce recorded the most receptions for a tight end at Stanford since Greg Clark had 20 in 1996. Brett finished the year with 19 catches for 258 yards and three touchdowns, including at least one reception in all but one game. In addition, he was the winner of the Phil Moffat Award as the team's top Defensive Special Team Player, credited with 14 total tackles. Pierce plans to improve on his 2001 campaign, but his most important goal is to ensure victory. Pierce is a leader on the field as well as in the locker room.
Pierce explains, "I don't need the accolades. All I want to do is win. There is a lot of mental pressure for us to do well. As a senior, there is a heavy burden on myself as well as the other seniors to set a positive example by performing well. We must handle all obstacles and adversity in stride. We have a really solid team. All we need to do is produce results. That is a must."
In addition to the grind of the football season, Brett is double majoring in Civil Engineering and Management Sciences and Engineering. He explains, "That is what makes the athletes at Stanford so special- our ability to perform athletically as well as academically."
In high school, Pierce was named an All-American by SuperPrep and PrepStar while attending Columbia River High School in Vancouver, Washington in addition to being a two-time First-Team All-State and two-time Defensive Player of the Year in Clark County. He also earned nine varsity letters, three each in football, basketball and baseball.
"So much has happened over the years while playing football. With this being my senior year, I just want to make sure I do the best to help my team win. Tough schedule and all, a bowl is still the goal."