FOOTBALL: Air Force and UofD Jesuit 2015 quarterback Ryan Brand a perfect match |
DETROIT - Only two schools had the guts to offer senior quarterback Ryan Brand; Indiana State and Air Force. Because of his 5-10, 192-pound stature, schools shied away from Brand, but when choosing a school, the perfect fit for you is vital.
That's why Brand chose Air Force, ironically on Independence Day. Something he said was just a coincidence.
"I visited two weeks ago," Brand said of Air Force. "They have a huge campus in a great city. Everything you need is in Colorado Springs. The facilities are top notch, and the coaching staff was amazing.
"I was pretty confident that this was the school for me ever since I visited them."
Air Force was also Brand's first offer, something that means a lot to most recruits, including Brand. Not many players his size, at the position he plays, get a lot of looks. So for the Falcons to take a chance on him meant a lot.
"Much respect to the coaching staff," he said. "It was huge to have a great staff of coaches, and a great program believe in me enough to give me a chance."
Brand's high school, University of Detroit Jesuit, and Air Force run an identical style of offense, which will allow him to use his feet to make plays. Both schools are also excellent academic institution, which was also important for Brand. He'll eventually enroll in the Air Force after football is over with, something he views as valuable.
"We have 5 years of service after college, but it's not as bad as it sounds," he said. "There's so many opportunities in the Air Force, it's a great way to jump start your career."
The Air Force is just about as hard to get into as Fort Knox, but Brand was able to, and will use football, and the other opportunities they have to offer to better himself.
"They have a 9.9% acceptance rate, so it's extremely hard to get into," said Brand. "They just offered me just like any other school would, so there wasn't any extra requirements. So I'll be a finance major there, and I will see where the service will take me, and how I can start my career."
Now that his recruitment has come to an end, Brand can focus on getting the Cubs back into the playoffs, and go further than what they did last season. This year's team won't be as talented, but he is optimistic that they can still be winners.
"I believe that we can win duplicate what we did last year," said Brand. "This year is a new year, and we will be calling for new guys to step up, but we always keep our expectations high. We can only control one day at a time, but I believe we will be fine."
Before the season starts in late August, Brand has a date at the Elite 11 Finals this next week, along with fellow Michigander Alex Malzone (Michigan) of Brother Rice. The Elite 11 is the premier prep quarterback competition in the nation, with the nation's best competing.
Brand will be the lesser known of the 18 participants, and the smallest, but he's more than prepared for the big stage.
"I've been throwing, studying, lifting, rinse and repeat," said Brand. "This is one of the biggest moments in my life. It's surreal."