The quarterbacks at this weekend’s Sound Mind Sound Body camp at Wayne State University would tell you Braeden Childress made an inviting target.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound sophomore from Big Rapids High School projects as a tight end at the next level and is just starting to draw interest with Central Michigan and Toledo already offering.
However, when schools venture to the western part of the state he’ll be under center throwing passes instead of catching them.
“I was playing QB last year, but I like tight end,” he said after Friday’s workout. “There’s something about the position, playing free and playing with swag. I’ll be playing QB. Coach said I’ll be playing some tight end. I practice in the offseason at tight end and I’m going to a lot of camps playing tight end. I’m doing drills and running routes every day at school at tight end.”
Asked whether he was hurting his recruiting prospects by playing quarterback instead of tight end, Childress said: “Well, every time I talk to a coach they just say they’re looking at me athletically. They see my highlights at tight end. The first three games I played tight end, then I switched to quarterback and played the rest of the season there. They see my highlights from the first three games and when I come here I’m at tight end. The regular season they’ll see me at QB.’’
He hoped his first trip to SMSB increases his interest.
A gifted athlete, Childress helped both the football and basketball teams to banner seasons.
Childress and company won their Division 4 pre-district football game against Escanaba, but fell to Chippewa Hills in the district championship game to finish at 7-3.
As a reserve forward, the basketball team advanced to the Breslin Center for the first time, losing to Stevensville Lakeshore in a heartbreaker, 61-60, in the Class B semifinal. He scored six points and pulled down four rebounds.
“It was our best year ever,” said Childress. “We played a lot of good competition down the road. We wanted to get that win and get to the championship game, but it didn’t happen. Hopefully we can get back.
“It was a whole other atmosphere that I’ve never experienced before and the whole school hadn’t. The school was behind us and it just felt great. It was a great experience being there.”
However, his love is football.
“The competitive nature in football,” he said. “There’s more competitiveness in football then basketball. There’s a different mentality.”
One of his biggest fans is cousin Ira Childress, the athletic director at Okemos High School. He was in the stands for the loss to Stevensville Lakeshore and served as a staff member for SMSB.
“He’s a tremendous athlete and a great young man,” said Ira Childress. “A kid who is really grounded. He’s getting a lot of attention in recruiting, but he has stayed focused and stayed grounded. I’m proud of him. Obviously a big kid. Anytime you’re 6-4 and 220 playing tight end and quarterback you’re going to get some attention. The other part of him is he has over a 3.0 grade-point average as well. It’s good being the total package. He’s a heck of a basketball player and it was good to see him on the big stage.”
Young Childress said he learned valuable lessons on and off the field during his two days at Wayne State.
“I learned that the biggest thing is to stay humble,” he said. “Separating yourself by staying humble to God and staying academically fit and doing everything you’re supposed to do when eyes are on you.”
Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @farrellperry.