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(Brandon Minor profile)
As a junior, Minor carried the ball 196 times for 2,091 yards and 32 touchdowns. He was a marked man last year, but expectations will be greater for him as a senior even though every defense will be stacked to stop him. He knows that for Varina to advance beyond last year's first round appearance in the state playoffs, he will have to come up big. To get ready for the breakout season, his team is practicing hard even in brutal conditions.
"It is hot out there," said Minor. "They (coaches) are being real tough on us. We lost in the first round of the playoffs last year. We want to make it to the finals."
Minor is gearing up to play on both sides of the ball in the fall. While his marquee position is tailback, he's doesn't mind helping the team on defense.
"I play strong safety on defense," he said. "I like that position too. As a running back, I have balance and I can bowl you over or put a move on you … it doesn't really matter. Some people say I run like Eric Dickerson because I run with my knees high."
Growing up his favorite player played football and baseball at the professional levels. Unlike his favorite player, however, Minor has become a one-sport specialist.
"My favorite player growing up was Bo Jackson (Oakland Raiders NFL, Kansas City Royals/Chicago White Sox MLB)," said Minor. "I used to play baseball. I used to play basketball also, but I gave all of them up to concentrate on football."
Minor has earned the attention of nearly every Division I school. He's got more offers than he can count. He's already decided what is most important for the next level.
"Education and getting time on the field [are important]," he said. "I really don't care about depth charts. I think I can go anywhere and play early, but I am not going to demand it."
A few weeks ago Minor seemed to have a clear leader and it was his childhood favorite Miami. According to Minor the infatuation with Miami was because "my older cousin was a big Miami fan." These days he is more open to some other schools and now a couple of more have opened his eyes.
"Right now it is Florida, Miami, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, and LSU," he said. "All of them are pretty even."
He told GatorCountry.com what he liked about his favorite schools.
FLORIDA: "I like the coach they have and the way he run's the offense. Coach (Billy) Gonzales is recruiting me … he is real cool."
MICHIGAN: "It's a down home place."
MIAMI: "I have always liked them. I like how they are balanced. They run the ball and pass the ball."
VIRGINIA TECH: "They run the ball too, I like that."
OHIO STATE: "I really can't say but they run the ball a little bit too."
LSU: "Is really the same."
Brandon Minor plans on making his college decision on signing day 2006. Florida is looking to sign three running backs for this recruiting class and Minor is there at the top of the UF chart.