Brantley named Times-Journal’s player of yearPublished 2:46pm Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Selma High School’s Davian Brantley hadn’t played football in high school until 2013 and he really only chose to play this season so that he could stay in shape for baseball season.
The Selma Saints are happy he did.
Brantley, a senior, scored touchdowns in every way imaginable this year — including a punt return, kickoff return, field goal block return and several interception returns for touchdowns— while helping the Saints complete one of the best seasons in school history.
“I was in shape from playing baseball throughout the season,” Brantley said. “I came out during the summer and worked and played 7-on-7. That’s how it all started. I got back into the groove of playing football.”
Brantley started at free safety for the Saints and made an instant impact.
In the first game of the year against Southside, he ran a punt back for a touchdown and ran an interception back for a score before the Selma offense ever took the field.
His impact continued throughout the season, as he scored seemingly every time he touched the football.
“Score,” Brantley said when asked what he thought when he got his hands on the football. “That’s all I think about is scoring.”
Brantley said his teammates and a little luck can be attributed to his success this year.
“I was just in the right place at the right time, like on the field goal block return, right place at the right time,” Brantley said. “The interceptions, same thing. Really, on the kickoff and punt, I have to thank my teammates for blocking. If it wasn’t for them blocking, I probably wouldn’t have touched the end zone.”
Selma head coach Leroy Miles said Brantley is very coachable and very focused.
“He’s a difference maker in a program,” Miles said. “He’s made a difference in this program in this year. He is very responsible for us being 7-3 and he’s a defensive player.”
With the numbers he put up on kickoff returns and punt returns and interceptions for touchdowns, he made a big impact on this program’s success.”
Miles said he’s always looking for more football players, but after Brantley’s success he’s asking everyone who doesn’t play why they aren’t on the field.
“Every day I walk the hall and I’m looking for a Davian Brantley,” Miles said.
Brantley was proud to be a part of a team that had the success the Saints had this year.
“We made history my senior year — our senior year. After 19 years, almost 20 years, to come out and have a 7-4 record, that’s a great accomplishment,” Brantley said.