Markham Makes His Mark Late

Brad Markham from Bank High School in Oregon came on a bit late, but is now receiving some major attention from some big-name college recruiters. Injuries and other factors kept Markham from receiving early scholarship offers, but a very strong finish to his senior season has brought him a lot of late attention with a handful of potential suitors.

Markham is a 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pound running back recruit from Bank High School in Oregon. He finished out his senior year by earning first-team all-league honors after rushing the ball 104 times for 714 yards and nine touchdowns. Markham also played on the defensive side of the ball at outside linebacker and defensive end.

"I've been trying to play quarterback up until late my junior year," explained Markham. "Finally when I saw that I wasn't going to start at quarterback, I begged the coaches to just put me in at any position."

Coaches were hesitant to let Markham show his wares at running back until the final two games of the season, when he ran for well-over 100 yards in both of those games.

"I did well and started this season playing running back and on the defense," said Markham. "I didn't start the season even close to being healthy, but was able to get healthy as the season went on and finished strong."

Markham said it has always been a goal of his to play football for BYU. He grew up in a family of BYU fans and has aimed to play football for BYU since he was young. When injuries kept Markham from participating in BYU's camp this past summer, he began to realize that his chances of earning a scholarship to play football at BYU were slight.

"I had tendon surgery on my big toes after my junior year and really wondered if I'd ever play football again," said Markham. "I knew that I had to go to BYU's camp to show coaches what I could do, but wasn't able to do that, which was very frustrating, so I really didn't think I'd have the chance to play for BYU and really wondered if I'd be able to play my senior year."

Markham started to feel better once August rolled around and he was able to start out the season and send tapes to Cougar coaches throughout the season. Coaches took notice of the footage sent to them and were apparently very impressed by what they saw.

"I've had contact with Coach Lamb throughout my senior year," said Markham. "I was able to go to the Arizona game on an unofficial visit and meet with the coaches some more."

Earning a scholarship though still wasn't a strong possibility given the fact that the scholarships for running backs and other positions were pretty much all allotted by the time Markham played his very first game this past year. Markham nevertheless kept up contact and kept sending coaches his footage.

The contact paid off for Markham when he received a phone call from Coach Lamb asking if he could visit him earlier this week. Markham met with the Cougar coach and what he was told was a bit bittersweet.

"He told me that they watched film on me and really liked what they saw," said Markham. "He also told me that if they had seen that footage a year ago that they definitely would have offered me a scholarship, but they didn't have any available right now for my position."

What Lamb did inform Markham was that they wanted to offer him a preferred walk-on spot on the team, which means a lot at BYU. Five of the current starters on BYU's team are former walk-ons that earned scholarships through their play.

"I know that BYU treats their walk-ons better than other schools do," said Markham. "I know that getting a preferred walk-on spot gives me a great chance to prove myself and hopefully get a scholarship."

Markham is also in the process of being evaluated by other schools and is waiting to hear back from them as he works to make his final decision where to play college ball.

"I've been in contact with Oregon State mostly," said Markham. "I've also sent footage to Boise State and Arizona and some other schools. I'm waiting to hear back, but I really want to go to BYU."

Markham is now in the process of finding out whether he'll be accepted to BYU, which Coach Lamb didn't think would be a problem. Once Markham hears that he can get in, he fully intends on giving the Cougar coaches a commitment to accept the invitation to walk-on.

"I might get scholarship offers from those other schools or maybe a preferred walk-on invite like BYU; we'll just have to see," said Markham. "If they offer something before I find out if BYU will accept me, then I might go somewhere else. BYU is definitely my first choice though and I hope that they'll get back to me soon."

Markham is LDS and has definite plans to serve a mission right after he graduates. He will turn 19 next November. He said that he hopes when he gets back from his mission, he'll join a BYU program that he always dreamed of playing for.

"I love BYU," said Markham. "I've always been a BYU fan. I love the school, the coaches and everything about BYU. They're definitely my first choice, even if I get other scholarship offers."

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