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July 13, 2012Brayden Kearsley was one of the first players to commit to BYU from the 2013 class. Brayden is a 6'5 295 lb offensive tackle. BYU began to recruit Brayden just after his freshman year, when one of his teammates took him to a BYU camp because he was LDS.
"After my freshman year I went to a football with one of my teammates. I never really liked BYU that much and he ended up taking me down there because he knew I was LDS. So I went down and I did really well at the camp, I was going up against the juniors and seniors and I was just going to be sophomore. I was actually playing with and going up against (current BYU OT) Ryker Matthews. I just really like Coach Web[er] and really got along with him well and then after that I started liking BYU. So I watched them through that next season." said Brayden
That trip to the BYU campus and meeting with the coaches had quite an impact on Brayden. He no longer hated BYU. Growing up in Oregon he really had no interest in BYU. He had an in playing college football but for a local team
"I'm from Oregon so I grew up a huge Ducks fan, and I really liked the Ducks until then. Once I started getting into the recruiting stuff and started learning about the different schools, I became more of a BYU fan, I just love BYU."
He was falling in love with BYU the same time his favorite school was showing interest in him.
"They recruited me pretty hard my sophomore year and then when I committed they slowed down and then later they started really hard again, but I am with BYU." said Brayden
All college coaches are doing pretty much the same thing when they recruit a kid. They tell them how great the University is, how great the football team and tradition are, the fans and the atmosphere. But during this recruiting process Brayden shared what was a slight difference from BYU and the rest.
"I really like BYU because they want me as a person and not just a player or a number. I don't wanna be a number to a program I want to be a person. I just really feel like it is a family atmosphere there. And everyone has band of brothers as a saying but I really believe that at BYU, it really is a band of brothers."
Since that first camp after his freshman year, Brayden has been attending the BYU summer camps ever since. Because of that he has got to know O line coach, Coach Weber (or as Brayden calls him Coach Web) very well.
"I get along with Coach Web[er] really well. We are both tough guys you could say. Everything about him I love, I know that he is gonna care for me as a person off the field and he is going to care for me on the field. He is gonna want me to get better, and off the field he will be nice and all but on the field he is gonna push me to get better. He already knows how to coach me because I have been to so many camps already and he is pretty close to a father figure to me."
Brayden seems to be one of the leaders of this class. He was one of the first to commit and doing his part to make sure that he is playing with top talent. Certainly he has had an influence on the other Oregon commits Dallin Leavitt another early commit, Tanner Shipley , Billy Green from Washington and the possibility of one more from Oregon in Johnny Ragin .
"I'm trying to recruit a lot; I even try to recruit JC guys to come. I just wanna play with the best guys I can. I'm always texting Johnny [Ragin] to squad up with the Y and lets ball out together. I don't really pressure guys I just become friends with them and tell them how it is and how awesome it will be." said Brayden.
He talks regularly to those who have committed.
"We're just excited to get down there, we're excited to take the torch and continue great BYU football. We are ready to ball out. Every single one of us has a chip on shoulders. A lot comes from the help of Barton Football Academy, Jordan Johnson and Taylor Barton those guys have helped us a lot."
Oh and you may have heard about Brayden just a month ago, when he took a lighter to a letter addressed to him from the University of Utah and posted to his twitter account.
"Oh man My mom was so ticked at me. My mom was saying they were getting threats. I had a lot of people hit me up about it. I went down there the day after and people were coming up to me who I didn't even know talking about it. I still get reactions from people."
For someone who grew up knowing the Civil War rivalry, he quickly learned about the Holy War. A rivalry game he won't be able to participate in every year.
"I just think it's ridiculous that someone would want to end that rivalry, that's such a great game. Almost every year those two teams are top 25 teams and it's just always a great game. Its history and it's crazy that someone wants to end it."