Long Branch's Brodie Focuses Solely Football

Long Branch (N.J.) High offensive lineman Ryan Brodie holds three offers, including one from Rutgers, but there was concern when he showed up at Rutgers' Junior Day weighing 250 pounds. The 6-foot-4 Brodie lost the weight while playing basketball, but has since stopped playing hoops and is concentrating on football.

Long Branch (N.J.) High offensive lineman Ryan Brodie figures to pick up a number of offers this spring. He holds verbals Rutgers, North Carolina and North Carolina State, but the Scarlet Knights were the first to offer.

So, when the 6-foot-4 Brodie showed up at Junior Day last month, he took it to heart when the coaching staff was disappointed he weighed in at 250 pounds.

"I knew that is what they would probably say. They're used to me being around 265, 270. I came up there and I was about 250. They were like, ‘Whoa! What's going on with you?'

"I explained to them that I was playing basketball. I lost a lot of weight playing, so now I'm gaining it back. I'm almost 260 pounds, so in the next month or so I'll be back up to my regular size."

About a month ago, Brodie stopped playing basketball so he could focus on weight training and conditioning. In a month he has added eight pounds, and he should be close to his 265 pounds when he arrives at the New Level Athletics BadgerSport Lineman Challenge next weekend on the Rutgers campus.

But the decision to give up basketball didn't come easily.

"It's one of my favorite sports. I grew up lovin' it," Brodie said. "It came down to me and my father talking about what (path) I could take in my life, and we thought I had a better chance of (being successful) in football. So, we decided to make that my main priority."

It doesn't mean the basketball bug is out of his system, though.

"I go to the games. I miss it a lot," Brodie said. "I want to get stronger for the competition. I want to get bigger, stronger, faster …everything. That's what is going on right now."

Brodie is getting recruited hard by Rutgers, which is widely regarded as the favorite since Brodie previously said he wants to stay close to home, and he is very close with Rutgers signee and Long Branch High senior Miles Shuler.

And, Brodie is in constant communication with the Scarlet Knights staff.

"We talk every day," Brodie said. "Me and (assistant) coach (Robb) Smith talk, and (assistant) coach (Jeff) Hafley, and I talk to coach (Greg) Schiano on Facebook. We're all close. I talk to almost everybody on staff."

Still, other schools continue to recruit Brodie hard, including Boston College. An offer from Eagles, as well as Connecticut could be coming soon while Penn State, Buffalo and Ohio State are also in contact with Brodie.

"I've been talking to a lot of coaches through the email," Brodie said. "I talked to the Boston College coaches a lot. I've been talking with UConn, and there are a lot of other schools as well, according to the (Long Branch) athletic director told me."

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