Brandon Reddish isn’t big on bluster. He does little talking off the field and even less on it. The Fort Hamilton standout heard all kinds of recruiting pitches from interested suitors, promises that went in one ear and out the other.
When it came time to pick a school, the shifty, speedy and skilled wide receiver/defensive back took a simple approach befitting his persona.
There was one program which began recruiting him the earliest and most frequently, one whose staff is basically the same now as before the season began.
That one – Syracuse – is the one he picked on Jan. 12.
“Everything is still the same,” he said.
Reddish added: “I liked the whole school. It wasn’t just one thing.”
Rated as a three-star recruit by Scout.com and the No. 6 recruit in New York State, Reddish picked the Orange and Coach Doug Marrone over offers from Connecticut, Penn State and Maryland. He’s the latest city prospect to land in upstate New York, joining Christ the King quarterback Terrel Hunt in this year’s recruiting class. The Orange is also heavily involved with Lincoln All-American Ishaq Willians, in his final three.
On this year’s team alone, there were four city kids – defensive tackle Jason Bromley (Flushing), offensive tackle Michael Hay (Holy Cross), wide receiver Steven Rene (Canarsie) and linebacker Mario Tull (Xaverian).
“New York has a lot of talent and now everybody can see that when we come as one, we’ll be very hard to stop,” Reddish said. “[That] had a big role. It’s a New York school and I wanted to play with New York kids.”
Reddish spoke with Tull and Rene in recent weeks and the two gave glowing reviews of the school, from the academic side to the team’s camaraderie to the coaching staff.
His father, Vinnie Reddish, was sold during his son’s official visit. He felt a strong bond between the players and the coaches, a family atmosphere he didn’t see at other places. Reddish said he felt like he was part of the team on the trip to Syracuse and his father was impressed that Marrone came to their Brooklyn home.
“He was seen and heard all the time,” Vinnie Reddish said of Marrone, a Lehman High School graduate. “He’s gonna make sure our child accomplishes what he wants to accomplish. He showed real interest in everything.”
Reddish was somewhat of a hot commodity despite his 5-foot-11 frame. The three-year starter, who finished his career with an absurdly successful 36-2 record and 18 touchdowns in 11 postseason contests, completed his senior year with 18 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 593 yards rushing and 323 yards receiving.
He had a 93-yard interception to pay dirt and 53-yard touchdown run in a semifinal win over previously undefeated Tottenville and caught a 26-yard touchdown pass and ran for three integral first downs late in the Tigers’ 8-6 win over Lincoln in the title game, their third in six years.
“He makes things happen when there’s nothing there,” Fort Hamilton coach Danny Perez said.
Now, Reddish will hope to make things happen at the next level, in the Big East. Beginning at the age of 7, he played in the Mo’ Better Jaguars youth football organization and hoped to one day play college football.
After a remarkable career at Fort Hamilton, he’s got his chance.
“It’s a wonderful feeling,” Reddish said. “I worked hard. Now hopefully I can succeed. I’m very happy right now.”