For Braxton, Decision Came Easy

Brandon Braxton, wide receiver from Charlotte-Providence, (N.C.), pulled the trigger this weekend for the Duke Blue Devils. Braxton talked about the decision, and Providence head coach Randy Long discussed one of his star players as well.

"I committed to Duke Saturday," said Brandon Braxton. "I was visiting some family. I was ready to make my decision. We stopped by and told the coaches. I met with coach [Scottie] Montgomery, coach [Mike] MacIntyre and coach [David] Cutcliffe. I met with them in the football office."

"I told them I was ready to commit. They seemed very excited. It was something they had been waiting for. They said it was the best news they had received since signing day. They could continue to celebrate."

Braxton talked about the reasons for committing to the ACC program.

"I was looking around and checking different schools," he said. "I went one day to Duke with my mom unannounced. We saw the campus and dorms. It had a good family feel."

"I love the whole coaching staff. They are all phenomenal people. Duke has so much to offer academically. They are definitely going to be a good football team in the ACC in a couple years."

Braxton is a star on both sides of the ball, but he was recruited to play offense for the Blue Devils. He knows his strengths and areas to improve during the off-season.

"They recruited me to play wide receiver," he stated. "My strengths as a wide receiver would probably be my speed and my hands. I want to improve everything-consistency, route running."

"I started out at free safety this past year, then worked my way in to the offense. I think I will play both free safety and wide receiver this year. I will be able to start out at receiver. I will have fun at both positions. Defense is all right. I am more of an offensive guy. Defense is totally different, but still fun."

Braxton transferred to Providence High School from powerhouse St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio. His father's business relocated the family to Charlotte.

"My dad [David Braxton] used to play in the NFL," he said. "He played outside linebacker for the Bengals, Vikings and Cardinals. He is now an insurance agent and has moved around a little bit. He played college football at Wake Forest. He wanted me to be a Demon Deacon, but he loves everything about my decision."

Braxton is considering an early graduation to enroll at Duke in January, but a decision has not been made. The plans at this point will keep him in Charlotte to graduate with his class in May 2010.

Providence head coach Randy Long has coached Braxton for one season, but quickly realized his potential.

"He doesn't have a whole lot of weakness," said Long. "I wish I had a bunch more like him. He has good size (6-2, 190-pounds)."

"We played him at free safety. He played more receiver the previous year when he was in Ohio. We needed a free safety. I told him we need to get him coached up at the position. We started him there, then he started playing more offense toward the end of the season."

"He played real well as a free safety and was a pleasant surprise. He made plays at receiver to let you know he was going to be a great one. A lot of people saw what he could do. There are some people who see him as a defensive back, but most see him as a receiver. It seems to be his position of choice."

Long not only has a great football player, but an excellent student and high character player as well.

"He is probably going to Duke because wants to be a Doctor," Long stated. "He is an outstanding student. He is a good kid with a good work ethic. He is well spoken. He is real mature as far as his conversation with adults. He is a very likeable guy, and will go a long way in life."

"We talked about places interested in him. I knew he wanted to go get a good education, and a place where football would be important. The football coaches at Duke let him know they are going to work him hard, and they are fortunate to get him."

Braxton chose Duke over scholarship offers from Maryland and East Carolina.

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