A week ago today, Martinsburg’s Braxton Todd had never stepped foot in Ohio.
Todd’s first impression of the Buckeye State came last Saturday when he took an unofficial visit to Bowling Green State University, one of four Division I schools that have offered Todd the chance to play football.
The following day, the rising senior offered a verbal commitment to the Falcons to be part of their 2022 recruiting class.
“First things first were the quality of the people there,” Todd said. “I loved everybody around campus. Met the athletic director, the whole coaching staff, even got to talk to some players. That’s important because those are relationships and connections I’m making for a lifetime.”
The 6-foot, 205-pound Todd also holds offers from Navy, Air Force and Dartmouth, but appears set on joining the Mid-American Conference program.
“My very first offer was Navy so that may have set the tone for Division II schools that had been looking at me,” Todd said. “If you have Division I offers, you’re more likely to go there than a Division II program.
“This is a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders. On the ride (to BGSU), I was having a conversation with my parents about when I wanted to commit and dial down the top schools. But after being there, I absolutely loved it and knew it was the perfect fit for me.”
Todd, who doubles as a running back and linebacker for the Bulldogs, is being brought to Bowling Green as a tailback.
“On all my offers, I was blessed to have the opportunity to play either linebacker or running back,” Todd said. “I chose the running back route because that’s what I feel I’m best at and what I love the most.”
Todd believes his initial tie to Bowling Green came after he was discovered by Falcons’ first-year outside linebackers coach/run game coordinator Cato June. June is a Washington D.C. native who played at Michigan and then in the National Football League,
“After the offer, we stayed in touch and I wanted to get out there and see what it was like. I enjoyed myself.”
Todd will be more of a focal point on the Bulldogs in 2021 after the departure of senior tailbacks Naieem Kearney and Kevon Warren. The last two seasons, Todd has split carries with both, though he’s plenty used to being a key cog of Martinsburg’s defense as suggested by him earning Class AAA first-team all-state honors at linebacker as a junior.
“The last couple years, I didn’t get many carries. When I did get the ball, I did what I had to do,” Todd said. “But I’m looking forward to getting more touches and showing everybody what I can do. My running back film was only 1 minute and 30 seconds long, so I wasn’t really expecting to get a bunch of Division I looks. I was pretty shocked and it’s cool that I have all this recognition with such little film and few carries.”