Bixby football standout Braylin Presley meant no disrespect. What he said was all in fun.
When his older brother was ending a brilliant, four-year career for the Spartans last season and Braylin was an emerging sophomore, he boasted that he was the best player in the family.
He may get a chance to prove his point in 2020, now that Brennan Presley has taken his game to the next level and will be an Oklahoma State University freshman in the fall.
“Obviously, I’ve said I’m the best and I’m gonna back that up, but I never meant it in a real serious type of way,” Braylin Presley said.
“At the end of the day, we’re family and we love each other. Thinking back on it, it was more like a joke between him and me. Like me saying, ‘I’m better’ and him saying, ‘No, I’m better.’ ”
Both starred in 2019, helping lead the Spartans to yet another Class 6A Division II championship.
Brennan Presley caught 24 touchdown passes, had seven interceptions and was named All World defensive player of the year by the Tulsa World.
Braylin Presley rushed for 1,386 yards, caught passes and returned kicks for an additional 330 yards and totaled 29 all-purpose TDs. Frequently, he showed the same fast feet and explosiveness as his more famous sibling.
Spartans coach Loren Montgomery said he expects even more from Presley in 2020 as the Spartans seek their sixth state title in seven years and a third straight for Presley, who also contributed as a freshman in 2018.
“I would expect more physicality. He’s gotten thicker and stronger,” Montgomery said. “Some of the shoestring tackles people made on him in his freshman year he was breaking last year and I would expect even more of that.”
Montgomery also expects more in leadership.
“Braylin’s always worked hard, but with his brother being a senior last year, he just came to practice and kind of did his thing. But he’s confident and stronger now and has a great season under his belt, so I expect a big leadership role from him,” Montgomery said.
Presley is a candidate in the running backs category in the All World preseason contest, presented by Bill Knight Automotive. Tulsa World readers can vote for their favorite athletes at each of eight position groups.
Voting runs through 3 p.m. Aug. 13, and the winners will be announced in the Tulsa World and at OKPrepsExtra.com in late August.
Go to OKPrepsExtra.com for weekly updates on who’s in the lead.
Candidates were chosen on the basis of past performance, projected 2020 accomplishments and college potential.
Recruiting hasn’t exactly exploded for Presley, although he does have scholarship offers from Memphis and William and Mary — two more than Brennan Presley had before his senior year.
Even with more muscle and 10 extra pounds, size works against the 5-foot-7, 170-pounder, Montgomery said.
“The guys who get all those early offers not only have the film (of past exploits) but also the measurables (height and weight). Braylin’s size probably keeps people from jumping on him right away, but I do think he’ll have quite a few offers going into his senior year,” he said.
“Iowa State hasn’t offered, but I know they’re interested. They call constantly.”
Braylin said his bedroom seems roomier since Brennan left for Stillwater, although he still shares it with younger brother Braeden, another outstanding athlete who will be a seventh-grader in the fall.
“It’s different without Brennan in the room,” Braylin said. “I have to wake myself up for summer pride now. In the past, Brennan would set his alarm. You have a moment when you realize the only person I have to depend on is me.”
Spartans assistant Trevor Suffal said it was fun watching the brothers try to outdo each other last season.
“Braylin would score a touchdown and he’d be like, ‘How many do I have now, 15? I’ve gotta get more to catch Brennan. I’m getting closer, bro.’ They’re so competitive,” Suffal said.
Vote here: Meet the nominees for the 2020 All World Preseason Football Contest presented by Bill Knight Automotive