Brayden Kearsley ready for 'big-boy ball'

As his senior season turns to the playoffs, Brayden Kearsley is enjoying each opportunity to take the field with his teammates at Aloha (Ore.).

However, in the back of his mind, he has already started to think about what it will be like to play “big-boy ball.”

“It just feels weird that next year I’m not going to be coming back to my high school teammates,” Kearsley said. “I’m going to play big-boy ball at the Division I level.”

Kearsley, who has given a soft verbal commitment to BYU, has helped open holes all season for record-breaking running back Thomas Tyner -- an Oregon commit -- helping the Warriors (7-2) earn the No. 2 seed in Class 6A heading into the playoffs this week.

While Kearsley wants to focus on his senior season, his success has drawn plenty of recruiting interest.

“It’s been good, but I’d rather get attention after or before the season instead of during the season, but it’s OK,” he said. “It’s going to come when you play well, so people have seen the way I’ve been playing and it’s been a great experience. I’m blessed to have it happen to me. I can’t wait to just make a decision, go on with my life and play college ball.”

While he weighs his options, Kearsley said he has kept in close contact with Arizona State, Washington, Oregon State, BYU and UCLA.

“I’m really open to the schools I’m interested in keeping in close contact with,” he said.

He has yet to take any official visits, but has one set up with UCLA for the Bruins’ Nov. 17 game against USC. He also expects to take trips to Washington and Arizona State in December. He said he plans to eventually take his final visit to Oregon State.

While Washington extended an offer a long time ago, it wasn’t until recently that Kearsley decided to take a longer look at the Huskies. He said he likes what he has heard from offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto, ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi and head coach Steve Sarkisian.

“They’ve given me more interest in the program,” he said. “I know Andrew Kirkland, and their O-line class looks really good. Other than that, I don’t know a lot about them, but that’s why I’m going on my visit, to learn more, see if I can fit in there with that program.”