Season Wrap-up: Brendon Felder

This past season Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway added the playmaking ability of Brendon Felder to its roster. The impact was evident.

"He brought a level of explosiveness that we hadn't had for a few years," Gateway head coach Terry Smith said. "He's a game-changer; he can do it in may different areas – punt returns, kick returns, out of the backfield, as a receiver; he played some in the secondary as well."

Felder, a 5-foot-10, 162-pounder, helped Gateway to a 12-1 season, which ended with a 10-0 loss to Pittsburgh (Pa.) Woodland Hills in the WPIAL Quad A Championship Game.

"I think we didn't play our game," Felder said of the championship loss. "…We didn't do what we wanted to do and we made mistakes."

A year ago, Felder moved to Monroeville, Pa. from Lynn, Mass., where he played at Danvers (Mass.) St. John's Prep.

"I learned a lot of things, especially from the coaches and playing with great players," Felder said. "I think it boosted my game up a couple notches. When I came down here my knowledge for the game improved definitely with Coach Terry helping me out."

In moving to Western Pennsylvania, the talent level didn't just improve in Felder's teammates. It also rose in his weekly opponents.

"Early in the season, I think it took him a few games to get adjusted to Western Pennsylvania-style of football," Smith said. "By the end of the season, he just became dominant on the football field."

"Athlete" is the best way to describe Felder's usage on Gateway's offense throughout the season. He'd line up at both tailback and wide receiver, and also be under center in the wildcat formation.

"For us, it was trying to create opportunities for him in the open field," Smith said. "We ran a lot of screens to him. He touched the ball right out of the backfield several times. We threw balls to him out of the backfield, in addition to just lining him up outside and just challenging their secondary."

Felder accumulated over 1,600 all-purpose yards and 20 all-purpose touchdowns. Included in his touchdown total are three punt returns and two kick off returns.

For his accomplishments, Felder was named to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's Fabulous 22.

Defensively, Felder was used in a reserve role.

"If we played a team that passed the ball more, he would be more of our nickel back where we'd match him up and basically just man up on guys," Smith said. "He'd just take that receiver out of the game."

North Carolina, the school he verbally committed to in mid-September, is recruiting Felder as a wide receiver. However, he worked out at both wide receiver and cornerback at UNC's camp in June.

"I think he'll be a terrific inside receiver," Smith said. "He's extremely quick, fast, and elusive. I think he'll be a guy that would be terrific for reverses. And if you create a wildcat package he'd be that perfect guy [under center], because he's just dynamic and explosive."

However, Felder's first impact at UNC may be felt on special teams.

"They said when I come onto campus I'll definitely have a shot at kick return and punt return," Felder said. "They said they need a freshman to come in and spark up in the area of special teams."

Felder says since committing to UNC his communication with the coaching staff has increased. He speaks most often to Charlie Williams, UNC's wide receiver coach, but communicates with nearly the entire staff every week.

"Once I talk to one coach, they pass around the phone to other coaches," Felder said.

"They just ask me how I've been – how my day is going, how my week has been going. During the season, they asked me how football was going. But now, they're asking me about life and they can't wait for me to get up there."

Felder joined Gateway's basketball team last Friday, after initially deciding to take the winter season off to lift. He also plans to run track this spring, where he'll participate in the 100-meter dash and 4x100 relay.

Brendon Felder Profile

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