Print and Go Back ESPN.com: On The Trail: West Region [Print without images]

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Four-star OL's first choice is final decision

By Mason Kelley


ALOHA, Ore. -- Looking back on the recruiting process, Brayden Kearsley (Aloha, Ore./Aloha) knows that taking a long look at other schools was the right thing to do.

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound offensive lineman, who originally committed to BYU in 2011, knew how he felt about the Cougars, but he took official visits to programs such as Washington and UCLA.

He let the process play out before taking a trip to Provo, Utah, last weekend.

“I did the right thing opening everything up, visiting other schools and trying to see what’s right for me,” Kearsley said.

In the end, his first choice became his final decision. During a ceremony at Aloha High School, the four-star recruit revealed his plan to play at BYU next season.

“At first, I didn’t know if it was going to be the best fit for me but, after going down there multiple times, I really, truly feel it is the best fit,” said Kearsley, who wore a black button-down shirt with a striped blue tie.

The senior made his announcement in front of friends and family, sealing his decision by putting on a black hat with a blue BYU logo. Kearsley picked the Cougars over Oregon State. He was also intrigued by the late interest shown by Arkansas and Tennessee. But in the end it wasn’t enough to keep him away from BYU.

“It’s an LDS school,” he said. “It just feels good being around other LDS people like myself. I really feel like I fit down there and I can do some good things down there, change my life and get a good degree.”

Now that he has made his decision, he already has plans to achieve lofty goals as a freshman. The Cougars plan to play him at center and Kearsley wants to crack the starting lineup in his first season.

“I want to do something that’s kind of unheard of, starting at center as a true freshman,” Kearsley said. “I want to try to be a freshman All-American. I want to get my degree in three years and see what happens after that. I’ve got some pretty high goals for myself.”

Now that Kearsley has shut down the recruiting process, he can focus on his future and prepare for his college career.

“A lot of schools were looking at me in the end, but I knew where I wanted to go a week and a half ago,” he said. “It’s a relief. I really respect all of the coaches who recruited me and the relationships we built.”