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January 23, 2012
Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.
There's SEC speed - whatever that is.
And then there's just pure speed.
That's what Isaiah Brandt-Sims of Wenatchee (Wash.) High has - and what the sophomore hopes will set him apart from others when it comes time to get college offers.
Brandt-Sims was the star of the Washington state track meet last spring, taking state titles in both the 100- and 200-meter sprints.
It was an unprecedented feat for a freshman. But if you ask him, his day could have been bigger.
"I could have probably won the 400, too, but my coach didn't want me to run it because of how the schedule was set," he said. "The 400 was between the 100 and 200 so he didn't want me tired for the 200."
His words were not meant to be a boast.
Brandt-Sims only has flash on the track and the football field. Off it, he is a soft-spoken, mild-mannered, straight-A student.
At the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio, Texas, earlier this month, Brandt-Sims tried to blend in with the more than 500 others in attendance. But his speed in the 40 (times were not released) made him stand out, even though he was a year younger than most of the others there.
"Brandt-Sims held his own last week at the U.S. Army Combine, even though he's a 2014 prospect, mainly because of his speed and athleticism," Rivals.com West Coast recruiting analyst Adam Gorney.
"This was probably the first time he's seen so many talented players in one setting and the rising junior did a solid job competing. There is no doubt he's fast and can make plays all over the field."
Just where isn't so clear.
Brandt-Sims, who should grow taller than 6-foot, figures to have the perfect body type to be a great defensive back prospect. But last season at Wenatchee, he played offense.
"I played wide receiver the first half of the season and running back in the second half," he said. "I like running back more because I got the ball a lot more.
"There are not a lot of people at my school so I was able to do a lot of things."
That shouldn't change in the future. In fact, picking a position - or even a sport - may be his toughest task.
Brandt-Sims, who also plays basketball, has been competing in track for longer than he has played football. Track could be a collegiate option, too.
His event-winning time in the 200 (21.29) was the 27th fastest by any high school runner in the country - and the fastest of any freshman. He ran 10.74 in the 100.
"Football and track are both at the top," he said. "It is a hard decision on which I will pursue."
In some regard, he matches another top Pacific Northwest athlete: Thomas Tyner of Beaverton (Ore.) Aloha.
Tyner, also a state sprint champion, was recently made one of the first ten five-star players for the Class of 2013. He has made a verbal commitment to Oregon, where he may compete in both sports.
It's too soon to say if Brandt-Sims is at that level, but Gorney feels he will get looks from Pac-12 schools. He seemingly would be a perfect fit at nearby Washington State for its new coach, Mike Leach, and his fast-moving high-powered offense.
"It's far too early to determine where he ranks among the best players in the West for 2014," Gorney said, "but he did a sound job in San Antonio and that won't be overlooked."
Of course with his speed, you may find it hard to keep your eye on him.