BATTLE CREEK – He is big and strong enough to be one of the top linebackers in the state. Yet he is also fast enough to be one of the top track athletes in the region. Add just the right amount of athletic ability to also get it done on the basketball court, and you have a special athlete.
That is why Battle Creek Central High’s Brandon Randle was named the 2015-16 Battle Creek Enquirer Male Athlete of the Year, as selected by the Enquirer sports staff.
Randle showed he was an impressive all-around athlete his senior season for the Bearcats and will look to do the same in East Lansing after being signed to play football at the next level at Michigan State. Randle was a standout on a division-winning football team, a key role player on a district-championship basketball team and qualified for the state meet in multiple events in track.
“It’s one of the reasons he is the athlete he is. Athletes that play at a Division 1 level in football are typically multiple-sport athletes,” said Central coach Lorin Granger. “When talking about Brandon, I think it’s important to point that out that he was a three-sport athlete. He even wanted to play baseball, but it was too hard to work in his schedule with track. His ability and him being able to do all those sports enabled him to excel at the sport he loves, which is football.”
Randle, at 6-feet-3, 225 pounds, was a standout two-way player for Battle Creek Central in football, playing defensive end/outside linebacker on defense as well as receiver on offense. Randle helped the Bearcats win a share of the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East Division title in the fall.
Randle finished his senior season with 79 tackles, 10 for loss, with four fumble recoveries, including two he ran back for touchdowns.
Randle also earned all-league, All-City and All-State honors for the Bearcats. After the season, a bigger honor came his way as he was selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The four-star prospect played in the game on national TV in San Antonio’s Alamodome.
“As I was going through it and receiving all those awards it was all kind of surreal,” Randle said. “All my goals that I had been working for were coming true one after another. It was like, ‘wow, this is kind of crazy.’ Just felt like a dream coming true.”
Granger says Randle is one of the best players he’s seen come through Battle Creek.
“As far as Battle Creek Central goes, I don’t think we’ve had a player that played at his level in my time — someone who just jumped off the mat like he did. In my 16 years, in my opinion, he is the player we’ve had in the city,” Granger said.