Dayton’s Seymour will play for Sacramento City
Appeal Sports Writer
The willingness to go the extra mile and move to where there are opportunities have landed Dayton Dust Devils s
The 17-year-old Seymour – a two-way starter for a Dust Devils team that went a school-record 10-1 last season – passed up on the opportunity to walk on at the University of Nevada and has committed to play for Sacramento City College.
“I made an official visit (a week ago) Thursday,” the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Seymour said on Wednesday. “I was really happy with the facilities and coaching staff. They had all of these nice big championship rings on their fingers. You’ve got to look at the jewelry.”
John Giannoni, assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Panthers, said he believed that he has found a rare gem in Seymour, a Virginia City resident who attended Dayton on a variance so he could take the first step in the pursuit of his dream to play professional football.
“The thing that strikes you most is that he’s a very good citizen,” Giannoni said of Seymour. “We preach family. We demand it. He’s the kind of kid that will fit into our program like a glove.”
Family is a big reason why Seymour grew from being a 6-foot, 150-pound freshman into a path-clearing offensive lineman and run-stuffing defensive end for the Dust Devils, who advanced to the Class 3A state semifinals, where they fell, 21-19, to Virgin Valley.
Brandon’s father, Rob, was a member of Virginia City’s Class B state champion basketball team in 1977 and 1978. Once Brandon made the commitment to football, Bob hired personal trainer Wade Ashby (also a junior varsity defensive coach for Manogue) to help Dayton coach Rick Walker forge his son into the iron wall he has become.
“He’s a kid that knows how to work hard,” Walker said of Seymour, who capped off the three-day LinemenInc 2006 summer camp at the University of Pacific by winning the highly coveted Champion Gladiators Sword in the defensive run category. “He’s developed speed and strength through a lot of time of working hard to develop into a kid that will be able to play at the next level.”
Giannoni said Seymour would be a welcome addition to the Panthers, who last year under head coach Mike Clemons (a former Oakland Raider who played for John Madden) finished 7-4, winning the seven-team Mid-Empire Conference on the way to defeating Feather River Community College, 31-13, in the Shrine Bowl.
“We loved him on film. He plays hard and he’s very athletic,” Giannoni said of Seymour, who in addition to Nevada considered playing for Boise State, Butte Junior College and a couple of other programs. “He has the attitude of coach, I’ll play anywhere. It’s the kind of humility that made him player of the year for Dayton. He’s better than advertised. Dayton didn’t go 10-1 because it had a coach who couldn’t coach or players that couldn’t play.
“We’re reloading our cannons for next year. We’re going to have nine or 10 new starters next year. He’ll play on offense or defense.”
Seymour said he’s ready to contribute in any capacity the Panthers need.
“I’ll play on either side of the ball,” Seymour said. “I just want to play football. I love the game. I’ll play offense or defense. They didn’t tell me I’ll start right away, but they told me I’d have a chance to earn a starting position.”
Seymour said having the chance to play his freshman year – along with several other contributing factors – led him to his decision not to walk on at Nevada and join Dust Devils teammate Travis Wood, who announced last week that he’ll be a preferred walk-on for the Wolf Pack at quarterback.
“I didn’t want to redshirt,” Seymour said. “I have two years to mature and get bigger, faster, stronger and get used to the college situation. It will be nice to be able to come home when I need to, or if there’s a problem where I have to come home. But it’s still far enough away where I’m on my own.”
Walker said that the Panthers are getting a player with a big upside in Seymour.
“He hit the genetic lottery with his size,” Walker said. “They’ll be able to put another 25-30 pounds on him. I’m hoping he still likes me at that time if he gets that big.”
There should be no problem there. Seymour credited Walker for giving him the opportunity to continue to develop after the season ended by allowing him to continue to lift weights in his zero period class.
“He knew the weight room was a big part of making me a player,” Seymour said of Walker. “He always got me in the weight room so he could push me.”
Now Seymour will have a new set of coaches pushing him to be all he can be. Giannoni said the Panthers had 11 players from last year’s team that went on to sign scholarships at schools in big conferences.
“We have three in the MAC (Mid-American Conference) and two or three in the Big Ten and Big 12,” Giannoni said. “That’s an incredible amount to get that many kids signed. Under Coach Clemons, this team is built on discipline and structure. We have 16-20 guys (currently) on scholarship out of our place. We have 80 kids. When we beat Feather River, they had the No. 1-ranked offense; we had the No. 3-ranked defense. We throttled ’em pretty good.”
In addition to the coaches and the opportunity, Seymour said he had a couple other reasons why he chose Sacramento City College.
“When we were driving up, I thought we were at the wrong college,” Seymour said. “Other fields were what you’d think a junior college field would look like. This was a stadium. It reminded me of UOP when I went to the lineman camp. I met every player there and shook hands with him. Their policy on partying was one of the first things they said. I really liked it.
“Coach Giannoni said they’re going to put in red turf next year. It’s a real top-notch program. I didn’t want to walk on and risk not playing next year. It’s a two-year junior college. I can move on to a bigger level and play there.”
Seymour, who will move to Sacramento in June, had a final message for a former teammate and his former team.
“Good luck to Travis Wood – I hope everything goes well for him at Nevada,” Seymour said. “Same to Dayton. I hope they do as well next year as we did this year.”
And so begins another two-year period of going the extra mile for Seymour, who hopes to parlay this opportunity into getting one step closer to that other eighth-grade dream: that of playing football for a living.