Kearsley remaining loyal to BYU

Considered one of the top linemen in the West for the class of 2013, Brayden Kearsley has already committed to BYU. However, that hasn't kept college recruiters from attempting to lure him away, and that will more than likely continue until he actually signs with BYU.

Unfortunately, Brayden Kearsley's junior season of high school football has come to an end after his team lost in the playoffs. The big 6-foot-5-inch, 290-pound star lineman did as best he could to help his team's run in the state playoffs despite many key injuries.

"It's good, but we had a lot of injuries," Kearsley said. "Thomas Tyner, our running back, got hurt and was out for five or six games. One of our tight ends, who is getting recruited too, was out for around six games too. Then one of our senior safeties who has a couple of scholarship offers was hurt and our DB who has offers was hurt also, so a lot of our skill position players were hurt and that really killed us."

With a team not at full strength, Kearsley and his Aloha High School teammates were eliminated from Oregon's state playoffs last week.

"We still had a really good season and most are happy with how we finished. Personally, I think I did really good."

In addition to Kearsley, at one point BYU was also looking at a few other Aloha High School players.

"A lot of schools are looking at our running back Thomas Tyner," Kearsley said. "BYU was looking at him, but I don't think he's interested. He's a really good player and I love blocking for him."

Although Kearsley didn't play much both ways, like players of his caliber often do, he still did rather well on the defensive side of the ball for the limited time he received.

"I played some defense, but offense was mainly my position," Kearsley said. "When I was playing on defense I had an interception. Last week we were playing this team from down south and we got a lot of pressure on the quarterback. One of our players stuck his hands up but the ball hit him right in the helmet and popped straight up in the air and I saw it and just jumped up and snagged it.

"I was the first one to get there and I was thinking, ‘There's no way you're taking this away from me.' I didn't play that much defense but I also had around four sacks and a bunch of batted passes and forced fumbles."

On the offensive side of the ball as one of the top linemen for the class of 2013, Kearsley simply dominated.

"Personally, I played really well," he said. "I had so many pancake blocks and just dominated anyone that was in front of me. It was fun and I was selected as a first-team all-metro, so I'm pretty excited, but I got injured [last] Friday. I had plans on going to the U.S. Army All-American combine and stuff like that, but I won't be attending that with my injury."

Much like other Cougar commits that are doing well, Kearsley receives a lot of interest from other Division I colleges. The interest from other schools has really picked up for Kearsley, and it's not just local interest, but from all over the country.

"I'm not really looking around because I'm going to end up a Cougar, so it's not really that big of a deal for me," Kearsley said. "At the same time, it's kind of interesting and a compliment to see all these schools really recruit you – schools like Auburn, Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska, Cal, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State, Wisconsin, Purdue, and schools like that.

"I've even picked up some SEC schools like Vanderbilt and Clemson from the ACC as well. Alabama has been sending some things as well and everything has really picked up for me since I've committed to BYU.

"I had a lot of schools looking at me, before but I wasn't really expecting a lot of SEC schools to come look at me, especially as hard as they are now. A lot of top schools have sent me stuff and it's not just some little fluke letter but handwritten stuff. I mean, they're sending heavy-interest stuff."

One college that's been really testing his commitment is Oregon.

"They're sending me handwritten letters saying they want me to come down," Kearsley said. "Oregon keeps saying, ‘Oh, come look at our facilities and blah, blah, blah."

However, Kearsley isn't taking the Duck bait.

"It's like, ‘Dude, you're not going to buy me with your freaking facilities!' You're not going to buy me with your nice buildings, and that's not how it works with me. I'm not looking at how nice your facilities are and then going to base my future on that.' They keep saying, ‘Come look at our facilities,' and ‘We have world class facilities.' Well, cool! But you're not going to buy me to go to your program.

"BYU is trying to get me to come to their program as a person and not some toy to come play in their facilities. That's what separates BYU from other schools. They place a different emphasis on things, and it's a family, tight knit atmosphere because of the values that are taught there. It's a place with tradition, and everything about BYU is built on real value and honesty and not just flashy stuff to lure you in. Because I was a top recruit, BYU wasn't trying to get me to come just as a player but as a person. It just felt like family, so that's the difference between the colleges."

Recently, Kearsley attended an Oregon game, where members of the coaching staff tried a different tactic of persuasion.

"I went to an Oregon game around two or three weeks ago," Kearsley said. "They were showing me this and that, saying, "See, look, we have return missionaries here, and look, we have Mormons on our team!' I'm like, ‘Alright man, cool.' Then they were sending me letters about how many LDS players they have on their team and just weird things like that and to come see them."

It's going to take more than fancy facilities and a new uniform every week to lure away this top high school prospect away from BYU. Kearsley has already become close with his future position coach.

"Everything is going good with me and Coach Weber," Kearsley said. "I spoke to him a couple of days ago and we're just really tied together. We always talk about football but then get off topic somehow and talk about other stuff. I really like our phone calls and we have fun. We talk about life mainly, and Coach Weber and I are really close. When I was getting offered by Coach Mendenhall, he even came into the office with me because he wanted to be there when I was offered. It was pretty cool, so I'm excited about coming to BYU."

Kearsley plans on graduating early his senior year so he can practice during BYU's spring camp of 2013. Although he plays tackle now, Kearsley could possibly come in and compete at a different spot on the offensive line.

"They said either tackle or guard, whichever one I pick up the game and speed the fastest with," Kearsley said. "With me planning on graduating early, and fighting for a starting spot, if I play guard I could just come right in and compete for Braden Hansen's spot, who is a guard.

"If I graduate early, it's going to start a battle with a return missionary or a player that's there right now, but they feel I can compete right away. With my talent and athleticism, all I need to do is pick up the speed of the game, but I can do it. I could end up at either guard or at the tackle position at BYU, so that's my plan after one more year of high school."

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