Glendora’s Braydon Brus looks to make bigger impact at linebacker
Seventh in a series of stories profiling top high school players in the Southland by position.
Everyone had choices during the year-long COVID-19 suspension of high school sports, and Braydon Brus of Glendora made the decision to turn the family garage into a personal workout area. His father managed a gym, so they had access to equipment, and Brus’ focus was preparing for the day he could play football again.
“A big thing was realizing you can only control what you can control,” he said. “It was stressful, ‘Oh no, I only have sophomore film. Do you have to join a club team?’ I started grinding and training. My goal was get faster and stronger. Things started falling into place.”
After being a 175-pound outside linebacker as a sophomore, Brus turned himself into a 6-foot-1, 215-pound junior with speed, strength and versatility.
“Quarantine helped me quite a bit. I trained a lot, ate a lot, slept a lot,” he said.
During a five-game spring season, he had nine tackles for losses among his 58 tackles, two sacks and one interception. He also rushed for 491 yards and eight touchdowns.
“Braydon is must-see TV on the football field,” coach Brandon Rohrer said. “On defense, he is all over the field and has a strike mentality when he finishes tackles.”
He committed this summer to Northwestern, which is a return to his Midwest roots since he was born in Michigan before moving to California when he was 5.
He played varsity at Glendora as a 14-year-old freshman. This fall, Rohrer has plans to deploy Brus in a variety of roles, whether at quarterback in a wildcat formation, using his speed at running back or blitz him on defense.
“I’ll play wherever the team needs me to play,” Brus said. “I just love football.”
Brus remembers his first game of football in the second grade. Kids were trying to tackle each other. Some were worried about getting hurt, but not Brus.
“I love tackling,” he said. “It’s probably my favorite part of the game.”
He approaches playing linebacker with a simple mentality.
“It’s see ball, hit ball and don’t let anything get in the way or prevent you from seeing the ball and hitting the ball,” he said. “As a linebacker, your goal is to make every tackle.”
Brus said getting the chance to have a five-game spring season was important for his college recruitment. He said the day after his fifth game Northwestern finalized a scholarship offer after evaluating his film.
“They liked my speed, my ability to take on blocks and run sideline to sideline, and that I could be an athlete,” he said.
His 4.0 grade-point average during the 2020-21 school year didn’t hurt either, showing he could focus on his education from home during distance learning.
“I’m grateful my coaches put me in position to succeed,” he said. “I just decided to trust in our own high school football team. There’s something special playing on a high school team. The culture is different. You want to play with your buddies.”
Monday: Rodrick Pleasant, Gardena Serra defensive back.
Linebackers to watch
David Bailey, Mater Dei, 6-3, 220, Sr. When healthy, no one is better.
Delamonte Barnes, Birmingham, 5-9, 200, Sr. Four-year starter is relentless tackler.
Braydon Brus, Glendora, 6-1, 215, Sr. Versatile with quickness, athleticism.
Owen Chambliss, Corona Centennial, 6-3, 205, Jr. Has agility, athleticism.
Malachi Hannah, Simi Valley, 6-3, 225, Sr. Has speed to chase down ballcarriers.
Kevonte Henry, Leuzinger, 6-4, 225, Sr. Committed to Michigan.
Sterling Lane, Oaks Christian, 6-4, 235, Sr. Outside linebacker/defensive end with pass rushing skills.
Austin Logan, Norco, 5-11, 215, Sr. Had 15 tackles vs. Corona Centennial.
Leviticus Su’a, Mater Dei, 6-1, 205, Jr. Led team in tackles during spring.
Jalen Woods, St.. John Bosco, 6-0, 210, Sr. UCLA commit has made major progress.
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