"It's Just A Mess"

Making the rounds at summer camps and scouting combines across the country requires an exceptional amount of dedication and plenty of travel for every football player with aspirations of making it to the college level. But that process is only made even more difficult when the prospect in question is from a faraway, relatively remote locale like Alaska.

That's the situation that faces Brandon Comeau, a running back from West Valley HS in Fairbanks, AK. But it hasn't dissuaded him from pursuing his passion.

For the second time, he recently made the long trek to the contiguous United States to try to impress potential college suiters.

As fate would have it, both of those workouts have come in the state of West Virginia -- first, at an event in the capital city of Charleston; and, most recently, at the SportsWeave All-American Football Skills Academy in Morgantown.

The member of the class of 2011 has been impressed with both of his experiences in the Mountain State.

"It's far away, but I like the facilities that West Virginia offers," said Comeau.

"I've been to other places; I was born in Reno (Nevada) and have been on the west coast and everything, but I had never been (east of) Utah. Then, I come over here and see they've got everything -- a lot of nice facilities and their school just supports them in football more than I've seen. So there's something about the east coast I love."

The feeling is apparently mutual, as Comeau, who measured 5-foot-6.5 (in socks, not cleats) and 162 pounds at the SportsWeave event, has received some interest from a pair of colleges within West Virginia's borders -- Marshall and Charleston (a Division II school).

Like many of the players at the SportsWeave event, Comeau has been in contact with several schools but hasn't gotten an offer just yet. With limited opportunities for coaches to see him play in Alaska, that makes summer camps and combines that much more important as he tries to make an impression.

"It's very hard," he admitted. "It's hard to get a coach to commit to come up there. They don't want to travel that far and then get there for nothing."

So Comeau and his high school coach, Daniel Esparza, have to try to sell colleges on the running back's potential.

"It's (sending out) tapes, grades, whatever it is," Comeau said. "I'm always on the phone because I can never talk to somebody straight-up. A lot of the stuff we do is over the phone. It's just a mess."

But despite those hassles, and the difficulty of trying to work out at full speed in the early morning hours on the east coast (the SportsWeave event started at what would have been 4:00 a.m. back home in Alaska), he says he is enjoying the process.

"It's great. I love competing against these guys," said Comeau. "I don't see a lot of this up in Alaska, and competing against these guys is just very cool. It's awesome."

"I like doing this stuff. I want to bring recognition to Alaska. That's my main goal -- to get people to know that we can play football up in Alaska, and we've got some pretty good athletes."

"It's a good feeling, you know, being out here and knowing I'm here for something good and to prove something."

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