|This story originally published on Bucknuts.com|
He’s arguably the fastest-rising prospect in Ohio this year. And maybe just the fastest, period.
But Piqua’s Brandon Saine is taking it all in stride.
The football/track star has already decided he will definitely be a two-sport athlete in college. Now he just has the small task of choosing a school.
Saine is a humble young man and is surprised that so many top offers have come his way so early.
“No, I never thought I was that good at football until last year, this year,” he said. “I really didn’t expect this.”
But he says he is enjoying the recruiting process. He has to field a lot of calls from coaches and media, but he doesn’t mind.
“I think it’s pretty fun,” he said. “I have fun with it.”
Saine (6-1, 205, 4.3) was asked what comes to mind when he thinks of Ohio State.
“I like it because it’s close and I think I could play a little bit there and not just sit around,” he said. “I could stay in the same state.”
He also gave his take on the Michigan Wolverines.
“Well, growing up I was a Michigan fan, so I’ve always liked them,” he said. “I’ve lived in Ohio my whole life, but both my parents are Michigan fans.”
Are his parents upset that he’s considering the rival school, OSU?
“Oh, they don’t care,” he said.
Saine is ranked as the No. 4 overall prospect in the state and the No. 1 running back by Ohio High.
“Makes me feel that I’m going to have to live up to a lot of expectations on the field,” Saine said.
As a junior in 2005, Saine rushed for 1,300 yards and 21 touchdowns for 6-4 Piqua.
“Yeah, I’m happy with what I did last year,” Saine said. “I didn’t expect anything better. I was really surprised with how many touchdowns I got.”
The only problem was that Piqua finished ninth in Division II, Region 6, and only the top eight teams get in the playoffs.
But in 2006, Piqua – the home of OSU defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock – will be a team to watch. (Pitcock’s younger brother, Jafe, will be a senior at PHS in 2006.)
“I think we’ll be pretty good,” Saine said. “We have a lot of returning starters and it should be fun.”
Saine’s speed is obviously his top asset on the football field. But he has other strengths as well.
“I’m pretty powerful, I guess,” he said. “And I like contact. I’m getting better at cutting and stuff and I can see holes pretty well.”
When asked if there’s any areas of his game that still need fine-tuning, he said: “Probably cutting. Sometimes I had trouble with that last year, but I’ve gotten a lot better at that.”
Saine is not sure which football camps he will attend this summer.
“No, I haven’t really thought about that,” he said. “I’m just thinking about track right now.”
Saine isn’t just thinking about track. He’s dominating races. He recently placed first in the country at a national indoor meet in New York in the 60 meter dash with a time of 6.79 seconds.
“That definitely surprised me,” Saine said. “I didn’t even know I was a national-caliber runner. To go there and actually win, that was great.”
Saine is also Ohio’s defending Division I state champion in the 100 and 400 meters.
“Yeah, I’m looking to repeat in both, and add the 200,” Saine said. “Hopefully I can do that.”
Saine unofficially visited Ohio State in January and says he was impressed with the trip.
“Over the winter I went and saw a basketball game,” he said. “Michigan State. It was pretty fun.”
Although he grew up a fan of the rival school, Saine says he has always been impressed with OSU’s football program.
“They do a real nice job there,” he said. “I like it because they know how to win games.”
Saine was asked to predict where he will be 5-10 years from now: Will he be an NFL running back, or possibly an Olympic sprinter?
“They would both be great, but I don’t know,” he said. “If I could actually do either of those, that is definitely a goal of mine.”