Methodist made best sense to Brayboy
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 14, 2011 1:47 PM
A talented three-sport athlete, Ricky Brayboy always assumed playing baseball would lead to a college scholarship.
Then came football.
The Spring Creek senior surfaced in a few conversations among college coaches a year ago, but the attention increased this past fall. Brayboy's improvement, especially his work ethic, led to more college opportunities.
Gardner-Webb offered a walk-on spot.
Greensboro College and Guilford College came calling.
Brayboy considered Randolph-Macon (Va.) College, but kept his options open. When he visited Methodist University, Brayboy said the small-school atmosphere, expected future success and strong academic reputation solidified his decision.
"I wanted to stay with a small school and I have other ideas after football, so I wanted to make sure I keep those in range," said Brayboy, who will graduate as a North Carolina Scholar. "I want to go into law and Methodist has a pre-law minor that only 11 schools in the country offer. That was an important decision as well because academically-wise it seemed the right place.
"They've got a young team and the next couple of years it looks like they're going to be really good. It's the kind of place that hopefully I can jump on and it end up being a good place in the end."
Brayboy is just the second Spring Creek football athlete to receive a college scholarship or athletic package in program history. Ben Loch, the school's all-time leading rusher, signed with Elizabeth City State after the Gators completed their second varsity season of competition.
"I think having Ricky sign is a great example of what working hard will get you," said third-year Gators' head coach Aaron Sanders. "One of the things we try to instill in our players here is good things come to those who work for it. I think Ricky is a perfect example of that.
"I feel like he made the best decision for him. He sat down, weighed his options and figured out what's best for him."
Methodist compiled a 2-8 worksheet, including a 0-6 mark against USA South Conference opponents in 2010. The Monarchs have one senior, 12 juniors, 22 sophomores and 47 freshmen listed on their spring roster.
Where does Brayboy fit in?
The 6-foot, 195-pound utility player has discussed working at the inside receiver/running back slot in the Monarchs' offense. Brayboy has good size, but needs to improve his footwork before he attends preseason camp.
"It's humbling," said Brayboy. "It's not my job to run the ball any more. It's my job to make sure he's (teammate) got a spot to run to, got a chance. It's going to be a change."
Brayboy, who transferred from Colorado Springs, Colo., during the second semester of his freshman year, earned all-Carolina 1-A Conference honors as a junior and senior with the Gators.
He rushed for 1,011 yards and accounted for nine total touchdowns this past fall, and was named to 2010 News-Argus All-Area Football Team as a utility player. Spring Creek won few games with Brayboy on the field, but he could tell the program earned a little more respect each season.
"All year we get something figured out and have something else come up ... it was a long haul in the end," said Brayboy. "If we had this one play here or there, it could have turned the whole table and it seemed like that from week one. I was disappointed with the results, but other teams actually had to play four quarters against us."
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