Bruner Makes It Official

Total Blue Sports finally caught up with 6-foot-3-inch, 225-pound Evergreen High School running back Jerry Bruner, who talked about his BYU visit, and verified that he had indeed committed to become a Cougar.

Jerry Bruner is big and fast and has flown completely under the recruiting radar with many major college programs. He reportedly can flat-out run like a deer.

"I'm 6'3" and around 225," said Bruner. "I went down to the Passco invite and our relay team usually runs a 10.6 in the 100 meters. In the forty I ran a 4.4 time. We went against our track rival team last Tuesday and they had beaten us last year, but this year we just killed them in the invite, which had all of the best teams in the state of Washington.

"As a team we were ranked first in the state and we beat them by about two seconds in the relay. We ran a 41.9 in the 4-by-1. It was a school record and we got a little plaque. I don't know if we will get a trophy for beating the school record or not."

Aside from BYU, Bruner has received some early attention from other schools as well.

"Oregon has been talking to me a lot now," Bruner said. "Washington State has also become interested, and one of my friend's dad works at Oregon State and he's been talking to me a lot but they haven't sent me anything."

Starting as the running back for his high school team, Bruner scored five touchdowns against Evergreen's rival school. Though only playing in five games due to an injury, Bruner scored 11 touchdowns and ran for over 800 yards. Bruner came to BYU on an unofficial visit and really liked what he saw.

"As soon as I got there it was kind of cool because Coach Lamb showed me around," Bruner said. "It was cool because he took me around and then I got a chance to watch the scrimmage. I got a chance to see how intense it was and how hard they hit. It was pretty cool.

"I got a chance to see all of the facilities there and I was really impressed. I was thinking these guys got all the best stuff right here. Everything you need is right here. All the best stuff that's out there is right here. I was kind of amazed how there were buildings dedicated to just football practice. I went around with my cousin who lives there, and he took me around and showed me around the campus. I was also at LaVell Edwards Stadium during the scrimmage game."

While watching teams practice, Bruner said one of the things that stuck out in his mind is how the coaches conduct the practices.

"Usually there are coaches that like to yell a lot and keep everyone focused," Bruner said. "Then there are coaches that know how to keep practices from being totally boring and on schedule. The first thing I noticed and my first thought when I saw BYU scrimmage during practice was, ‘Man these guys hit hard.'"

Bruner was impressed with how aggressive and hard-hitting BYU's defense was, but that intensity and hard hitting defense didn't sway him enough to reconsider switching positions from running back to linebacker.

"No, I'm still going to be a running back," Bruner said. "I can take it."

While on campus, Bruner was able to say hello to an old friend who is currently on the team.

"I saw Bryce [Mahuika] and got a chance to talk to him," Bruner said. "I'm in the same ward as his grandparents and his sister."

Bruner sat in Coach Mendenhall's office and the two talked about BYU and the program Mendenhall is building. It was during this conversation that Bruner decided to commit and be a Cougar.

"[Coach Mendenhall] asked me what other schools could offer that this school couldn't, and when I got done explaining I just thought, ‘Well, this is all I really need,'" Bruner said. "Here the team looks out for one another like brothers and it has all you need spiritually. You can focus on what's important in life and achieve what you want with football and that's what I liked about it.

He asked me if I wanted to commit and I said, ‘Yeah, it's really easy to.' So I committed to him right there. He talked to me a little more about some of the things he's accomplished, and about some of the things that go on here at BYU. He took me down the hall and all of the other coaches came up to me and shook my hand. I was really excited about it.

"I never thought I was good enough to play at the college level. I thought I was good but not that good. Then when I got into my junior year I started to think, ‘Maybe I am that good?' Then all this happens and I'm just like, ‘Wow, it's all happening so quickly!' It's pretty cool! I'm really stoked about playing for BYU."

Bruner has plans to play his first year then serve a fulltime LDS mission.

"I think I'm going to come in and try and play my freshman year," Bruner said. "I think I'll probably play my first year, then leave on my mission, then come back and play the rest."

At Evergreen High School, Bruner played both running back and linebacker. His recruiting coach was Coach Lamb, who is also BYU's linebacker's coach. Coach Lamb has hinted a few things to Bruner.

"Yeah, he's been trying to get me to move to linebacker," said Bruner while chuckling. "He's been hinting at it a lot. He said, ‘You know you're built great for linebacker. Did you know that?' He was like, ‘You know you can come to BYU and play linebacker for me if you want to.' He says things like that, but I was like, ‘Well, let me try playing running back first.' Coach Lamb is a great guy."

In closing, Bruner wanted to let Cougar fans all across the country know that he is fully committed to BYU and he will do his best while wearing the blue and white.

"I'm excited to be a Cougar and I will do my best for everyone who follows the program," Bruner concluded.

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