Over the first two seasons of his high school career, Braidan Haney has proven to be one of the most disruptive rush ends across not only the Southeast District, but the entire Buckeye State as a whole.
If that isn’t to be believed, the massive totals of 136 tackles, 45 tackles for loss, and 33 sacks certainly will speak for the above fact.
Need more than personal success? Haney has that covered, too, because he, along with Ethan Gifford, just led the East Tartans’ football program to its first playoff victory in school history last November — a 12-6 victory over Waterford — en route to a 9-3 overall mark in 2017.
Those stats, without question, will lead to increased attention, and deservedly so.
However, Haney has only continued to rack up the attention.
After starring at the 2018 Blue-Grey Midwest Regional Combine at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati on April 8, Haney obtained an invite to the 2018 Blue-Grey Northeast Super Regional Combine at the center of the Philadelphia Eagles’ main workout facility, the NovaCare Complex, which will commence on July 1 at 11 a.m. in Philadelphia, Pa.
For Haney, the invitation was a truly special feat, especially considering that Haney was one of only 17 underclassmen to be invited to the super regional and one of only 80 players across a 17-state radius to obtain an invite in general.
“I can’t wait to see what I can do when I’m stacked up against players from different divisions, classes, and states,” Haney said of competing in the super regional. “I believe that the football played in the Southern Ohio area is very strong, so it’s going to be neat to see what I can do against players from larger schools.”
After collecting an outstanding 20 sacks as a freshman, Haney battled through double-teams en route to collecting an additional 13 sacks as a sophomore as East posted a 10-1 mark in 2016 and followed the undefeated regular season campaign up with the school’s banner year in the sport in 2017 as the Tartans posted a 9-3 overall record with, as mentioned, the school’s first playoff victory over the No. 2-seeded Wildcats. His efforts this past season as a sophomore led to Haney earning Division VII First-Team All-Southeast District Honors and Division VII Second-Team All-Ohio accolades.
“It’s all about a bunch of hard work,” Haney said of his early success. “My Dad has helped me out a lot, and has told me that my size doesn’t matter. It’s all about my form. There’s plenty of smaller defensive ends who have helped pave the way, such as James Harrison and Elvis Dumervil. Size really doesn’t matter.”
Haney, however, has only strived for more.
At the Midwest Regional Combine, the junior-to-be, again, posted excellent numbers as the junior posted the fifth-best broad jump at an impressive eight feet, three inches — which also sat first among all 2020 competitors in the regional — and tied Irvine (Ky.) Estill County’s Jason Watkins for the sixth-best shuttle time via his 4.59, which was second among all 2020 participants. These numbers, along with having the third fastest 40 time at a 4.83 over the entire regional, made Haney a lock for super regional qualification.
Again, Haney deflects credit to the family members who are closest to him.
“Without my Dad (Dan) and uncle, I’m not here,” Haney said. “This opportunity doesn’t exist.”
At the Northeast Super Regional, Haney, who will be competing in the fourth of five super regionals offered by Blue-Grey, will not only have an excellent chance to learn from some of the greatest to play the game of football — with 343 years of pro football playing experience in the NFL between guys such as Brian Dawkins, Byron Evans, and Mike Bartram, among many others — but will also have a chance to prove himself to college recruiters.
In all, a total of 105 players from the Class of 2018, by itself, were inked to Division I FBS or FCS letters of intent from the Blue-Grey Combine realms, which gives Haney hope that he can be the next player to put Southern Ohio football in the limelight.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to represent the area in this event,” Haney said. “To be a kid from a small town and go up and do something big is great. The athletic realm, not just in football, but in all sports, is growing so much. You’ve got Wheelersburg winning the state championship in football, the Notre Dame girls’ basketball team reaching the regionals for the first time in history, and the Minford baseball program reaching the OHSAA State Final Four for the first time in its history, so being a part of this special time in our area’s sports history really means a lot to me.”
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @KColleyPDT