By Noah White, senior
At 6’5” and 270 pounds, senior Brayden Patton is furthering his football career; he recently was accepted to Northern Illinois University with a football scholarship.
NIU is a public research university located in Dekalb, Illinois. The school colors are black and cardinal red; their mascot is the Huskies, and during the fall, the football team competes against their opponents at Huskie Stadium. As a division one college, NIU participates in the Mid-American Conference.
At the age of five, Patton was playing pee wee football; 12 years later he was playing football at Edgewood High School as the varsity starter at right tackle and defensive end. On the afternoon of June 25th, 2015, Patton was conversing with his mother when he received a phone call from NIU’s head football coach Rod Carey. This was the opportunity of a lifetime and it meant four more years of football for Patton.
“He has put in a lot of hard work and he made it to every summer workout there was. He participated in a lot of camps over the summer and he has his own strength program outside of football; his hard work has taken him so far,” defensive coordinator coach Mr. Rosenburgh said.
Hard work isn’t the only attribute Patton possesses; being a team leader comes in handy when stepping on the field. Junior Sam Jeatran, a varsity tight end for the football team, knows what it’s like to follow a leader such as Patton.
“Brayden teaches me and coaches me a lot in the huddle, especially when I don’t know what I’m doing, and he’s just a good teammate. He’s someone you can trust and he’s a really cool guy off the field,” Jeatran said.
Patton is not only big on the outside, but also on the inside. His work ethic and character takes him places that his performance cannot.
“His athletic ability is pretty unbelievable for as big as he is. The biggest thing is that he’s a leader and he’s very fun to be around. He loves football and loves being around it, and he makes his team better and always improves the mood of practice when he’s around,” Rosenburgh said.
There’s no doubt that football has become an influential part of Patton’s life. After his 12-year journey, Patton is finally where he dreamt of being.
“It’s very awesome to get to this point because I have my next four years planned out and I know what I’m going to do. It’s just going to be a really good experience to see what it’s like. Football is my love and I think if you don’t do something then it’s not for you,” Patton said.