Patterson High School's Kaylon Bruno signed a national letter of intent to play college football at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas, Thursday. Seated, from left, are Janita Reed, mother; Bruno; and Bryan Bruno, father. Standing, are Patterson High School Football Coach Ryan Stewart and Patterson High School Athletic Director Ryan Jensen. (The Daily Review/Corwin Murray)
Patterson High's Bruno signs with East Texas Baptist University
Most student-athletes that sign college athletic scholarships have been on that road for a long time but not Patterson’s Kaylon Bruno.
The 6-foot, 3-inch, 270-pound offensive tackle only started one season for the Lumberjacks but signed a national letter of intent to play college football at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas Thursday at Patterson.
“I really didn’t expect to be here, so I’m really blessed,” Bruno said. “I played all four years but didn’t start until my senior year. It was about taking the opportunity that was in front of me. I had been nipping at the heels of the guys in front of me, and I finally broke through. It was finally my time, and I guess I took advantage of it.”
Bruno will be joining other local talent at East Texas Baptist University, including sophomore-to-be Sirbatian Charles and other 2017 signees, Samarick Paul of Central Catholic and Larenz Clark of Berwick.
“I know I’m going to be seeing a lot of them soon,” Bruno said. “Chubb (Sirbatian Charles) welcomed and congratulated me, and we text sometimes. I think it’s going to be cool playing with the other local kids.”
Former Patterson and Louisiana Tech standout Tank Calais is also the Special Teams/Defensive Backs coach at East Texas Baptist.
East Texas Baptist, a Division 3 school, competes in the American Southwest Conference. It finished 7-3 in 2016 and tied for the second-most wins in team history.
“It’s exciting to get these kids out and on to college,” Patterson Coach Ryan Stewart said. “Hopefully, they get degrees and become good members of society. It’s about getting an education for all these kids. We all want to play in the NFL but (it is) highly unlikely.”
Stewart said Bruno was recruited because of his size and potential upside.
“Kaylon is big,” Stewart said. “He’s 6’3, 270, and his length on the edge helps out a lot. I think ETBU runs a spread offense, so he should fit in well there at tackle, but he could kick inside to guard. He’s raw, but he’s going to get better with every practice. If someone takes time to work with him and he puts in the time in the weight room, I think he can be very successful there.”
East Texas Baptist will have a new coach this fall as Scott Highsmith was announced as the team’s new coach March 6. He replaces Scotty Walden, who departed for a coaching position at the Division 1 level. Highsmith was East Texas Baptist’s passing game coordinator the last two seasons.