By CLINT FOSTER
For the second time in head coach and athletics director Bryan Horton's tenure at Community Christian School in Mineral Wells, one of his student athletes has committed to play football at the college level.
On Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by family and friends, CCS standout Sammy Brazeal inked his letter of intent to play football for the NAIA's Ottawa University in Kansas.
Unlike other schools that pursued the six-man giant, Ottawa offered Brazeal something he simply could not refuse: a full scholarship. Now, once Brazeal has faxed his signature, he will be the newest member of a Braves squad that is ranked No. 14 in the nation heading into the 2014 NAIA season.
"I'm definitely really pumped up about it," Brazeal said of his signing. "Playing college football has been my dream since I was probably about 9 years old. My coach and my dad told me after my first season of peewee football that I needed to stick with it and I had potential for college football. I never thought that was possible, but it's been my dream and to be able to accomplish it is really cool."
Playing six-man football in high school, Brazeal's combination of speed and size allowed him to fill multiple roles for the Warriors. He played everything from a lead blocker and pass rusher to a Jerome Bettis-esque, bulldozing ball carrier.
But it appears his ball-carrying days are over, as Brazeal said Ottawa head coach Kent Kessinger plans to try him at offensive line and defensive tackle, with defensive tackle being Brazeal's preferred position.
It's a role Horton believes his former player will fill nicely.
"You're talking about a kid that doesn't really fit in a traditional six-man mold, but yet with his athleticism and what he can do with the football, I think the coaches just took a look at his film and saw this kid's an athlete," he said. "This is a 6-foot-4, 300-pound ballerina we've got here.