Kearsley enjoys unofficial visit

Brayden Kearsley just finished up his sophomore season at Aloha High School in Oregon, but is already receiving a load of recruiting attention. He recently visited BYU to check out the Cougar program and get a sense of how they practice and run meetings.

Brayden Kearsley is a 6-foot-5-inch, 270-pound offensive line prospect who received all-state honors as a sophomore last season. He's subsequently received some recruiting early attention, and BYU is on the forefront of the recruiting efforts.

Kearsley camped at BYU last summer, which sort of kick-started his recruitment, as coaches were very impressed with him and soon had him competing with the upperclassmen at the camp. That group of upperclassmen included current Cougar Ryker Mathews, whom Kearsley has had a lot of talks with.

"Ryker loves it at BYU," Kearsley related. "He always talks about why he chose BYU because of the coaches and how they care for their players. He said that you feel a certain family atmosphere at BYU that you just can't find at other schools."

Kearsley saw that family-type environment up close while visiting with Cougar coaches and players during an unofficial visit.

"It was great," he reported. "I got to see practice, sit in on meetings and talk more with coaches and with players. I got to see more of BYU, and the whole experience was a lot of fun. I'm excited to go back there."

He got to sit in on the offensive line meetings, which featured a lot of good instruction from position coach Mark Weber.

"I love seeing Coach Weber work," he said. "I got to know him at camp last year and he contacts me at least two times every month now, but it was great seeing him work meetings. It was just very efficient how he does it. There were a lot of questions and the instruction was very intense."

During the meetings, Kearsley was able to get reacquainted with Mathews and also meet other BYU offensive linemen such as Braden Hansen, Matt Reynolds and Braden Brown, among others.

"I loved watching Braden Brown and think I'm a lot like him athletically," he mentioned. "I know he was a converted tight end, so he's very athletic and has a lot of speed for an offensive lineman. I'm like that and I'm close to running a 5.0 forty and I can run a 4.4 shuttle, so I see myself being very similar to him."

Coaches likened Kearsley and his abilities to Braden Hansen, which is a very high compliment considering what he's accomplished while at BYU. Hansen hasn't been able to practice this spring due to injury, but Kearsley was very impressed with what he saw out there practicing this past weekend.

"The BYU practices are very efficient, like the meetings," he said. "They get so much done with the time they have. It's incredible to watch."

Following the final practice session, he was able to talk more with assistant coach Kelly Poppinga, who is his primary recruiter. Poppinga again stressed to him that they'll be sending him an official offer if he performs at Junior Day and perhaps at their camp like he did last year.

Kearsley plans to have a busy summer. He'll be attending BYU's Junior Day this coming June 3, and that will be followed by Oregon's Junior Day, as well as camps at Oregon, Oregon State, BYU and Washington.

"I'll be visiting Oregon here soon and will be attending their spring game on April 30," he said. "Oregon has amazing facilities and there is a lot to like about them. I'm anxious to see how they compare with BYU."

BYU is the school currently showing him the most attention, followed by Oregon. Other schools showing him attention at this very early stage of the recruiting process include Stanford, Oregon State, Michigan State, Michigan, Washington, Washington State and UCLA.

"I'm just hoping to get some offers here soon when schools are able to officially offer me," he said. "I really like all the schools that are recruiting me and it was very good to see BYU up close this past week. I like how they coach their players, the resources they have to help players academically and socially off the field, and their facilities. I'd definitely like to play for BYU, but I like other schools too."

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