JCC’s Brandt signs at UW-River FallsJACKSON — Nathan Brandt went from being in the background to the forefront.
JACKSON — Nathan Brandt went from being in the background to the forefront.
Three years ago, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls football team was recruiting Brandt’s brother, Matthew. While watching film of the Jackson County Central senior, the River Falls coaches couldn’t help but notice the play of Nathan, then a sophomore safety, in the background.
“They recruited my brother his senior year, and they saw me on tape when I was a sophomore, Brandt said. “They kind of told my brother they’d be looking at me when I got older.”
Brandt, who recently finished his senior season on JCC’s football team, committed earlier this month to River Falls.
“I went to a camp before the season started this year, and I liked it out there,” he said. “It was a fun experience and, because of that camp, I made up my mind right then and there that it was probably going to be my home after high school.”
Brandt, who plans to study animal science with hopes of possibly becoming a veterinarian after graduation, won’t be redshirted; instead, he’ll battle for the starting quarterback job.
“I’ve talked to the offensive coordinator, and he wants me to come in and try to win the starting spot,” Brandt said. “What also won me over was, if I’m a backup and don’t get the starting (quarterback) spot, they’ll get me on the field somehow, whether it’s playing defensive back or wideout.
“They want me to make an impact right away, and I’m kind of hoping to.”
A three-year starter at defensive back who also handled punting and kick-return duties, Brandt was named the co-offensive back of the year in the Southwest Conference this season. He had 674 yards and five touchdowns on 132 rushes, and he went 59-for-113 passing for 989 yards and six touchdowns despite missing three games with an injury.
Brandt said the offense he ran at JCC is similar to River Falls’ offensive scheme.
The Falcons (3-7, 2-5) finished eighth in the eight-team Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference last season.
“It wasn’t too big of a campus, and I love the coaches,” Brandt said. “I made four games out there, and I liked the atmosphere. It’s a good, tough conference to play in, and they have a pretty good history.”