18 / QUARTERBACK /
Huber Heights, Ohio
Achievements: Braxton made his mark early at Wayne High, where he'll be a senior in August. In 2007, as a freshman, he entered in the second half of a Week 1 game against Colerain (Ohio), ranked No. 12 in the nation, and revitalized his team's struggling offense, completing 10 of 15 passes for 149 yards. He has started ever since, running up a 19--6 record. In '09 he led 7--4 Wayne to the playoffs by passing for 1,091 yards and nine TDs, and rushing for 467 yards and 18 TDs—all despite missing two games with a deep thigh bruise.
First Steps: Braxton has been trying to play up from the beginning, says his father, Kevin, who recalls his son's being upset when junior high kids snubbed the then four-year-old in backyard games. Two years later Braxton was a starting Pop Warner quarterback, and by sixth grade he had led the Springfield Broncos to the Western Ohio Junior Football Conference title while scoring 18 touchdowns in five playoff games.
Evokes: Michael Vick. "Both have great feet, great presence, great arms and a great competitiveness," says Wayne coach Jay Minton, who also sees a little bit of Steve Young in the 6'3", 200-pound Braxton, especially in his pocket presence.
Coach's Comment: "He's always had great poise, but he's learning to read coverages better," says Minton. "He's got a quick release, and he's got a rocket arm, and he's always fine-tuning his mechanics."
What's Next: The top QB prospect in the country according to Scout.com, Braxton committed to Ohio State in June. He'll play in the Under-Armour All-America Game next January—but first he'll refocus on Wayne, which plays Canton McKinley (Ohio) in a nationally televised game on Labor Day weekend.