BRITTON — Brayden Spaulding had heard from his Britton Deerfield football coaches for several years that colleges are always looking for someone skilled at long-snapping. After finally getting his chance to shine at it, he might be doing it at the next level.

The BD senior committed recently to Alma College. He was recruited as a long snapper and defensive lineman.

“Coach (Erik) Johnson always told me that long snapping was something colleges need,” Spaulding said. “When I finally got to do it this year I snapped on every punt and every extra-point attempt. For whatever reason it’s something that I seem to be able to do – get the ball back there where it needs to be.”

Spaulding is a 6-2, 210-pound 17-year-old. He figured prominently into BD’s plans as a junior but tore his meniscus in the Patriot pre-season scrimmage, forcing him to sit out the entire season while he recovered from surgery.

“I worked on my upper body strength the whole time, then when we were able to start working out last summer I started working on my lower body,” he said. “It gave me the drive to get back to the field.”

After a solid senior season in which he helped BD reach the playoffs, Spaulding wasn’t sure he wanted his football career to end.

“Something just kind of clicked,” he said. “After missing my junior season, I was finally back out there and I had a lot of fun with my teammates. I started thinking about maybe continuing to play football in college.”

It was about that time that an Alma assistant coach made a recruiting visit to BD.

“They said that if anyone was interested in football to come down for a meeting and I did,” he said. “It definitely sparked my interest.”

He ended up visiting the campus, which is located about an hour north of Lansing right off US-127 and loved it. The coaching staff stayed in contact and, a couple weeks ago committed to becoming a Scot. Alma plays in the MIAA, the same conference as Adrian College, and is coming off a 6-4 year.

“They turned it around last year and finished above .500,” Spaulding said. “I feel good about being a part of a program that is building up that tradition.”

Spaulding plans to become an orthopedic surgeon in sports medicine. He grew up thinking he wanted to be an engineer but after going through his own surgery, he began thinking of going into the medical field. He’s going to major in biology at Alma.

“They’ll not only push me on the football side, but academically as well,” he said. “They’ll allow me to reach my goals.”

He also wants to go into sports medicine to stay involved in sports. He also played basketball and baseball for the Patriots and his siblings are involved in athletics as well.

“Sports have always been a big part of my life,” he said. “My mom never forced us into sports but wanted us to try it. That’s how I found football.”

The son of Jennifer and Todd Spaulding has three siblings, two sisters and a brother. His mom is a nurse in Washtenaw County.

While he’s missing out on the things most seniors get to experience, he also understands that, due to the coronavirus, this is what everyone needs to do.

“It’s weird not being able to go through all of the things you are promised about your senior year of high school, but we can all learn from this situation,” he said. “It’s a little bit of adversity. We can all kind of sit back and get this time with our families.”