BYU big on Washington running back

The Cougars of BYU are in the market for a running back in the class of 2014. The staff has extended offers to two prospects, and has also promised a scholarship to a talented Washington running back should he visit BYU.

At Wenatchee High School located in the state of Washington, talented athlete Isaiah Brandt-Sims is generating a lot of buzz.

"I am around 5'11" and almost 6'0". I weigh 180 pounds and I play running back, slot, receiver and basically any position my coach wants me, I guess," he said. "When I played running back last year, defenses really stacked the box."

Brandt-Sims was moved around by his coaches quite a bit the past two seasons.

"I switched around a lot," he said. "My sophomore year, the first half of the season, I played wide receiver and then I became a running back. I first started at the wideout receiver position and then they slowly started moving me inside. Then they saw that I could play running back. This last season for my junior year I was again a wide receiver, but more at the slot position for around the first three games. Then after that I was moved to running back."

Last season Brandt-Sims rushed the ball 187 times for 1,400 yards, averaging just less than 7.5 yards per carry. He scored 20 touchdowns to lead the Big 9 Conference. In his three games as a receiver last season, he caught 21 passes for 317 yards, averaging about 15.1 yards per catch. He added another five touchdowns through the air. His all-purpose yardage total for the season was 1,763.

Brandt-Sims also runs track and as a sophomore recorded a 10.6 in the 4A 100-meter state championship and a 21.24 in the 200 meters, both sophomore records in the state of Washington. His speed and his football accomplishments have garnered him quite a bit of recruiting interest.

"Recently there has been Idaho that came by, Princeton came by, and Utah and USC are supposed to come by in a few weeks as well," said Brandt-Sims. "[Washington] has also come by a lot and BYU has been by and are supposed to come by again in a few weeks or so.

"I have a current total of nine scholarship offers right now. I have a scholarship from Idaho and I actually went up there for junior day and got a chance to talk to their staff. They offered me a scholarship and [Washington] has offered me a scholarship. Yale and Harvard have offered me academic scholarships. Colorado State and Arizona State, SMU, Wyoming and Utah have offered. It's pretty exciting and stuff. Just to meet all these coaches and talk with them has been pretty exciting. They've also helped me with my game as well."

There's another college that could be added to the list of schools that have offered him.

"BYU has technically offered me a scholarship, I guess," Brandt-Sims said. "They told me that if I come down to one of their camps over the summer that they'll offer me a scholarship."

Having been told that a scholarship from BYU would be given if he were to visit the school, Brandt-Sims has been thinking of doing just that.

"Yeah, I was trying to see about making a trip down there this summer," Brandt-Sims said. "I was thinking about trying to get down there for one of their camps."

With nine offers already on the table, why would Brandt-Sims take an interest in BYU?

"I actually played in a Washington seven-on-seven with one of their new recruits, Billy Green, who is a quarterback and going to BYU," said Brandt-Sims. "He played his high school football up here and I played with him in the tournament. He graduated early so he could go down there, but I got to know him pretty well."

Green has spoken to Brandt-Sims about his experience at BYU thus far.

"He says he loves it down there at BYU, and he really wants me to come down so he can show me around the place," said Brandt-Sims. "I've been talking to him a little bit about BYU and things like that. He told me a lot of things about the school and how he loves it, so I just want to go down there and check it out. The coaches also just came by here recently and they're having another coach come by soon to see me. They're just really nice guys and so I'm thinking about going down there, you know?"

Coach Poppinga and Coach Atuaia have been looking into the talented Washington native.

"The linebackers coach came up and I was also able to talk to the running backs coach," said Brandt-Sims. "The linebackers coach has been talking to my teachers and coaches to find out more on my character and academics. They said they always check into their prospects more thoroughly to make sure they're a good fit or not. I think the running backs coach is going to be coming up here in a couple of weeks, so I think he'll be the one that will start recruiting me now."

Apparently, Brandt-Sims has checked out well in the character department.

"BYU really likes my personality and they think I'm a nice kid," said Brandt-Sims. "They think my character is high and they've been talking to my coaches and some of my teachers. They just think I have good character, so that's why they're showing interest in me."

Given BYU's standards, it's an honor for Brandt-Sims to be recruited by the Cougar football program.

"I'm really happy that they see me as that good-character kind of person and feel that my character is good enough to get into a school like that," said Brandt-Sims. "It's really cool the coaches there see me that way and feel I'm good enough in other areas besides football to go there. It really does make me happy."

There are other aspects of BYU that also appeal to Brandt-Sims.

"BYU has well respected players that go there and they don't do things that get them into trouble and stuff," said Brandt-Sims. "They're all just really good kids and stuff. A couple of my friends tried to apply to get into BYU, and I know it's just a really tough college to get into because of the caliber of education that's there.

"Academics are really important to me, and then sports after that. I'm really interested in a high academic school. It's really important to me and my family. It's always been pushed heavily upon me and my brother."

Brandt-Sims claims a 3.9 GPA, so he does take his education seriously. In the meantime, he's been talking things over with his mother to explore the possibility of making it out to BYU this summer. If he does happen to make the trip, he would like to visit with some of the players.

"I would probably talk to a couple of the kids on the team to see how they like it down there and how the program is," said Brandt-Sims. "I would want to find out how the academics are down there and things like that and just get a feel for the overall experience."

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