BYU Offers Texas Running Back

The BYU football program is on the prowl for a premier running back in the 2015 recruiting class to take over after Jamaal Williams' departure. In the Lone Star State, BYU coaches have identified a player who meets all the standards necessary to receive a BYU scholarship offer.

Seven Lakes High School (TX) all-purpose back Braeden West is quick, can run between the tackles, and can catch the ball out of the backfield. Because of his versatility, Seven Lakes Head Coach Lydell Wilson has utilized West's abilities at various positions.

"I'm about 5'11, 170-pounds right now," said West. "I'm trying to get up to around 180 or 185-pounds before the season starts. I play running back and sometimes they'll move me out to receiver to get me into routes. I've been told that I'm really patient in the backfield, which is really good. I also have really good hands out of the backfield so I'm multidimensional."

Despite his skill set and versatility, West is flying under the radar when it comes to recruiting. Last season he broke his collarbone and that kept him out for much of the season.

"Last year I didn't get a chance to play the entire season because of a collarbone injury," West said. "I broke it in spring game and then in the first game of the regular season I broke it again, so I had to sit out awhile."

Following an x-ray of his broken collarbone West was informed that the bone fusion wasn't fully healed. The physician informed him that he could play the rest of the season but gave him a stern warning if he decided to do so.

"About halfway through the season the doctor said it wasn't fully healed but I could play with it," West said. "He said if I broke it again then I would have to have surgery on it. So, I decided to play and God watched over me and it didn't break again. I only played [in] five games and only had around 450 or 500 yards."

Despite West's lack of playing time, and going under the radar due to a broken collarbone, he hasn't gone unnoticed to the coaches of BYU who have evaluated him in every facet relating to their rigorous requirements for a scholarship offer. BYU recently extended him that scholarship offer.

"Well, I got Coach (Guy) Holliday's number from my high school coach, and he told me to call them that night," recalled West. "I called them and he went straight to it. He said, ‘We want to offer you a scholarship, and we think you're a special player.' He said, ‘We would love to have you and we want you to come up on junior day.' I just thanked them for the opportunity because they saw something in me."

West has nothing but gratitude for the opportunity he's been given.

"BYU has taken a lot of interest in me, and for that I have a lot of gratitude towards them," West said. "They have faith in me that a lot of people don't have. They've said I'm a really special player and I really thank them for the opportunity to play there. BYU was the first college to offer me a scholarship. I'm really grateful."

The reason West is grateful for the BYU scholarship offer is because he had no idea he was on the verge of receiving an opportunity to play at the next level. The Cougar offer came as a complete surprise.

"I hadn't really talked to them much before," said West. "I had gotten a couple of letters from BYU before but that was really it. We hadn't really been going back and forth with each other, so this was a real surprise for me."

Upon hearing he had received his first offer from BYU, West was both shocked and surprised.

"It was really exciting to be honest with you because, like I said, it was my first offer," West said. "I was actually kind of shocked and speechless at first. I was like, ‘Wow, I just received a scholarship offer!' I just thanked him a lot for the opportunity."

Guy Holliday informed him of the standards and requirements of BYU and why they felt he was a perfect candidate for such an offer.

"Coach was telling me about BYU and giving me some information on it," West said. "I know it's a Mormon school with high standards. They hold their players to a really high standard outside of football and everything. They're held accountable for their actions and for living a high standard."

"The standards and requirements BYU expects of their students is attractive to me because I'm not going to college to party and goof around. I want to go to college to get an education and play football. I'm not really into all that partying stuff and don't really go out that much. What BYU demands of their players is something I can do and what I'm looking for. I want to go to college to excel and move forward, and BYU is a place where that type of an environment is found."

Once he got off the phone with Coach Holliday the first thing that went through West's mind was he had to tell his mother the news.

"The first thing that went through my mind was I had to tell my mom," West said with a laugh in his voice. "It was just really exciting for me because I've been dreaming of this day to play college football all my life. I've been playing football since I was four years old and this is all I've wanted to do, and now the opportunity to go to the next level has finally come, and that someone has finally seen my potential from a Top-25 program, is really exciting. I was speechless at first. I was so happy and just had to thank them."

What did mom think after West told her of his offer from BYU?

"She was so happy and excited for me!" West said. "She said, ‘Congratulations baby! You deserve it and have been working so hard for this!' It was a great moment for us."

Following his offer from BYU, West hopped online and did some research on BYU to know more about the college that he had just received an offer from.

"I looked a little into BYU and saw that the football program is really successful and looks nice," said West. "I saw the facilities and where the school was located and everything. It's exciting. It really is."

While BYU is West's first scholarship offer, the University of Illinois has visited his school and he has received letters from Baylor and Arkansas.

"Yeah, he (Coach Holliday) told me about the junior day on June 13th or 14th or something like that," West said. "He was telling me about that and he wants to get me and my mom to take an official visit out there. We just have to plan it and everything. They said they're going to talk to my mom about it and everything, so we're trying to work on getting up there now." will stay in touch with West and catch up with him after he attends BYU's Junior Day in June.

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