For all those high school football players who might feel disappointed, disillusioned or depressed Wednesday when reality sets in that they won’t be signing a letter of intent and don’t have a college scholarship offer, let me tell the story of Brycen Tremayne.
He was Western League player of the year at Venice High in 2017 as a 6-foot-3 senior receiver. He was considered a 2-star recruit. His college options were based more on his academic excellence. His choices were to attend Yale or be a preferred walk-on at Stanford. Either way, his parents were going to pay for college.
He had played quarterback at Los Angeles Windward for three years. Then the school dropped 11-man football and he left for Venice to play a year at receiver.
He chose Stanford because he believed he had the talent to play at the highest level, even though others did not. All he wanted was a chance, and Stanford was giving it to him with no promises attached.
“If I worked hard and knew my ability, I’d get a shot,” he said. “There was no guarantees at all. I went in and put my head down.”
He arrived in the fall of 2018 weighing 173 pounds. By the end of his freshman year after being on the scout team, he was 6-4, 196 pounds.
“I was thinking, ‘I need to get better.’ It was more about improving myself,” he said. “All my numbers in the weight room went up. In the summer, a few receivers went down with injuries, so I got the opportunity to show my talent.”
Last fall, right before Stanford’s season opener against Northwestern, coach David Shaw sent a message to Tremayne asking him to set up a meeting.
“He said that I was working hard and wanted to give me a scholarship,” Tremayne said. “Man, it was like I took a deep breath and thought about all the hard work I had put in. Since high school, it was my big dream to get a scholarship to a Division I school. It didn’t happen in high school, but it happened after all the hard work.”
Tremayne caught three touchdown passes this season and also scored a touchdown after a blocked punt.
“I came in with a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “I didn’t have that scholarship.”
He is on his way to becoming an integral part of Stanford’s offensive scheme. He’s running a 4.5 40. He’s always had good hands, but now his size, strength and skills are being noticed. It took patience, dealing with adversity and belief in himself to achieve his dream.
Asked for lessons learned to help others facing rejection, Tremayne said: “Try to do everything right and as good as possible and good things will happen even if it’s not right away. It’s the accumulation. I’m on scout team and want to get moved up, but I had to take a deep breath and keep doing what I’m doing.”