TULSA — Having lived part of his life in the home of the purple Powercat, Jordan Brailford always kept Kansas State in mind during the recruiting process.
“I lived in Manhattan for a while,” said the Tulsa Washington defensive end, rated No. 6 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 recruit rankings for the class of 2014. “Kansas State offered, and they were always in the back of my mind.
“But I've really grown up watching Oklahoma State. I liked the coaches there, and it felt like it was the right situation for me.”
That's why Brailford verbally committed to OSU on June 16, turning down the Wildcats, as well as Baylor, Texas Tech, Tulsa and Washington State.
Ironically, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Brailford was recruited to OSU by former K-State coach Joe Bob Clements, becoming the third in-state prospect the Cowboys landed for 2014, following Broken Arrow duo Devon Thomas and Gyasi Akem.
In Brailford, the Cowboys are getting an explosive defensive end who uses his hands well. And Brailford is only beginning to scratch the surface of his potential. He missed preseason camp last year, awaiting medical clearance for a broken bone in his lower leg.
“Last year, we probably didn't have him back to 75 percent until about Week 7,” second-year Hornet coach Marvin Dantzler said. “But we monitored it all offseason. He's moving around well, not limping. And he's 25 pounds heavier, so we're excited.”
Brailford knows he has work ahead against Class 6A offensive linemen from teams like Tulsa Union, Owasso, Stillwater and Sand Springs as Tulsa Washington prepares for its second season after moving back up from Class 5A.
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The Oklahoman's Super 30
Name: Jordan Brailford
School: Tulsa Washington
Weight: 220 pounds
Position: Defensive end
Committed to: Oklahoma State