Carson Brammer has been able to show his arm strength on the baseball diamond the past two years.
He’ll get his chance on the football field this year.
Brammer enters the role as the starting quarterback for the Mason County football team as they approach their season opener on Friday. The junior, standing at 6-foot-2, features a big arm that could stretch a defense with the vertical passing game. He features the intangibles one would want in a quarterback, but the Royals will slowly bring him along as he takes his first snaps under center.
“He’s got some growing up to do. He’s got the tools, he’s got the talent and he’s got the arm. He’s a three-sport athlete. We don’t have many kids anymore that can actually do that, but he can play. There’s very few things that he can’t do,” Royals coach Jonathan Thomas said. “Just for him, especially at the spot at quarterback, it’s kind of like it was with Chandler, it’s giving them the time and the reps. Get comfortable and seeing things at game speed and reading defenses and things like that.”
Brammer received limited playing time last season, but did get the start in the season opener against North Adams last year, the Royals not needing to do much throwing in a 68-7 blowout. Brammer threw just two passes in that game, completing one of them for a 24-yard touchdown. He’d only throw one more pass the rest of the season.
His situation might be a little different than others entering their first year as a starter. Brammer plays three sports, football, basketball and as mentioned before, baseball. He’s seen valuable playing time in the other two sports, most notably baseball where he’s been a two-year starter at shortstop and also seeing time on the mound.
“He can play, he’s very talented, he’s very athletic. Playing those other sports really helps him out a lot,” Thomas said.
Brammer attributes his learning curve to being Chandler Dunaway’s understudy the past two seasons. Dunaway threw for over 1,500 yards and 16 touchdowns in that timeframe. The majority of Dunaway’s targets that he looked to are pretty much all departed now to graduation.
“I just want to take the steps that Chandler did, follow in his footsteps and play like he did last year. I worked with him in practice, he really taught me a lot. Working hard, getting set,” Brammer said.
With all the personnel changes the Royals will experience both at the skill positions and along the offensive line, things might take a little while to get going. As far as receivers, they only return six receptions from last year. Five of them coming from Jayden Riggs, the other a reception from running back Seth Chambers. Everyone else either graduated or is no longer with the team.
Will we see many changes within the Royals offense to adapt to Brammer’s style?
“It really depends on how quickly Carson picks things up,” Thomas said. “How comfortable he gets as far as speed of the game, reading defenses and getting rid of the ball and things like that. We’re trying to give him an individual period every single day in practice. He doesn’t play any defense. He plays scout team quarterback, just trying to give him those reps and any reps we can give him live will help as much as we can give him.”
Brammer isn’t too concerned with trying to throw the ball down the field right away.
“If we start out with short routes, the long ones will come,” Brammer said.
He’s also confident in his line play early on, returning just two guys, Jacob Ledford and Jared Collins.
“I think our line is getting a lot better, they’ve been playing good in practice,” Brammer said. “My job is to get the whole offense running, get everybody set, make sure that they know what they’re doing.”
There’s no doubt a lot of differences will be seen with this year’s Royals compared to last, but Brammer nor the Royals are letting that influence them early on as they approach Friday’s kickoff.
“We’re just trying to get the young guys up to speed. That process cannot be rushed at all, I don’t care what you do. We’re basically trying to get the younger guys some reps. Usually the younger guys that haven’t played varsity before it’s the speed of the game that gets to them. I’ve preached big time about not making the same mistakes over and over,” Thomas said.
The new product will be on display Friday night as the Royals open up with North Adams in the Meadowview Regional Kickoff Classic at 7:30 p.m.