Practice Tour: Tehvyn Brantley

DURHAM, N.C. --- For the program's third season, Mount Zion is hoping to gain more exposure for itself and its players. To help achieve that goal, Mount Zion will rely on its superstars like Tehyven Brantley, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound wide receiver.

"We're looking to get established where people do know us," Mount Zion head football coach Greg Carson said. "People just don't know that we're here. There are still people that are surprised to know we have a football team. They know about the basketball, they don't know about the football team.

"We believe this is going to be our breakout year. We have some D1, D2 prospects here, so we believe we're going to make some noise this year."

In addition to Brantley, Mount Zion's roster of under 15 players includes fellow Division I-A recruits defensive end Hakeem Vinson and quarterback Josh Byrum.

"We have a lot of new players, a lot of new faces," Brantley said. "It's going to be a challenge to get the chemistry.

"We're short on numbers, but I think everybody out here is willing to go both ways do whatever it takes to win at the end of the game."

As opposed to last season, where he joined Mount Zion midway through the football season, Brantley has a great start on building chemistry with his teammates.

"I've built relationships with the players early because I've been out here since summer workouts," Brantley said.

Helping the passing game, Brantley rooms with Byrum, his quarterback.

"We have some old chemistry, but we're building more," Brantley said. "We stay up at night and talk about football, and we watch film together."

Being one of the few returning lettermen, Brantley will be counted on to lead the team.

"Guys are looking up to him [and] looking for him to lead the team," Carson said. "He has the skills and talents and abilities to do some great things this year. He's an exciting player, so we're looking for him to shine on the field."

Brantley will serve as the main weapon in Mount Zion's spread offense.

"He's going to bring versatility to the offense," Carson said. "He has the ability to play not only receiver, but also running back and quarterback, as well."

The coach will use a variety of ways of getting the ball into Brantley's hands, including receptions, handoffs, reverses, tosses, and direct snaps.

In addition to offensive responsibilities, Brantley will start at defensive back and also return punts.

Brantley said he still plans to finalize his college decision soon. However, he's still waiting for his guidance counselor to finish his transcripts.

"She hasn't finished [putting the transcript together], because she has a lot of new kids enrolling," Brantley said. "She wants to make sure everything is in order [before sending the transcript].

"She told me I have nothing to worry about. I just have to do what I have to do and I'll clear the [NCAA] Clearinghouse."

Meanwhile, a couple other schools have begun to increase their recruiting efforts. NC State has contacted Carson a few times the past couple of weeks, while the coach said South Carolina has already requested to see the film of the first two games of the season.

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