Talented trio raises Brooklyn Tech awareness
Barclays Center isn’t the only thing that’s being built in downtown Brooklyn. A few blocks away, Brooklyn Tech’s reputation as a football program is also growing.
“We’re getting the word out there,” rising senior quarterback Brandon Schneider said. “We’re not just an academic school. We can play football, people.”
College coaches are now flocking to the corner of Clermont Ave. and Fulton St. to check out a trio of high-level rising seniors – wide receivers Kyvaune Brammer, James Gales and defensive end Thomas Plonski.
“This is the most attention anyone has paid to Brooklyn Tech football players since I’ve been here,” said Kyle McKenna, who is entering his fourth year as head coach.
Brammer said he came to Brooklyn Tech because of its high academic standards with the plans of playing basketball. A fan of the EA Sports Madden video games, Brammer decided to give football a go his freshman year.
It turned out to be the best hunch he’s ever played.
A year ago, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Brammer was tied with Lincoln’s Denzel Duchenne atop the PSAL’s City Championship division with six touchdown receptions.
“I think he’s a dynamic guy who has great range,” McKenna said. “He can go and catch a bad ball just as good as he can catch a good ball.”
McKenna said Brammer was underrated until a breakout performance in Week 3 against Curtis. He had seven catches for 166 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
“It really showed his range in the types of catches he was making and how he was taking over the game,” McKenna said.
“It was the opportunity I’ve been waiting for to do what I wanted to do,” Brammer said. “It was a little window into the future.”
Brammer’s future is likely at the University of Buffalo, where he verbally committed in early May. He’s also received offers from Fordham, Wagner and Monmouth and has interest from UMass, Marist and Towson.
“To go from a little guy with no hands to this right now is a humbling experience,” Brammer said. “It really feels good.”
Like Brammer, Gales is a receiver with blistering speed and a 90 average, which is also why both players are drawing interest from Ivy League programs. Both competed well at the Yale Camp and Gales is currently at the Princeton Camp.
Gales, who rushed for 1,067 yards and 14 touchdowns last year, also impressed at the UConn camp, which is why the 6-foot-1, 185-pounder has offers from Albany and Fordham. His future, McKenna said, is likely on the defensive end as a cover corner.
“He can be physical with big receivers and cover small, quick ones as well,” McKenna said.
The two lightning quick rising seniors give Schneider extra confidence as he takes over for Kevi Shyti as a first-year starting quarter.
“The amount of weapons we have on this team is amazing,” he said. “I’m really lucky to be on this team.”
While he doesn’t have the lightning speed of Brammer and Gales, Plonski has the total package at 6-foot-6, 240 pounds. That’s why he holds offers from FCS schools Old Dominion, Wagner, Marist, James Madison, Fordham and Villanova.
“He has an awesome motor, it’s always running,” McKenna said. “He chases down things from behind, he’s very hard to block one-on-one and he has a very high football IQ. He has the ability to read things pretty quickly.”
At Brooklyn Tech, Plonski, who had 52 tackles and eight sacks as a junior, is an end in the Engineers 4-3 defensive scheme. He could project in the same role in a 3-4 defense or maybe play on the interior of a 4-3 on the next level.
“It’s great for Brooklyn Tech, it’s great for the city and it’s great for me,” Plonski said. “I get to play football and get a good education at any of these schools offering me a scholarship.”
Plonski, whose brother Michael was a standout at Brooklyn Tech from 2007-11, went to James Madison’s Junior Day, checked out Fordham a few weeks ago and has plans to visit Villanova Tuesday. He’ll likely choose among those three programs and he wants to make his verbal commitment before the start of the season.
“At Brooklyn Tech we haven’t really had D-I players in a while, but hopefully this is the first of many,” Plonski said. “Hopefully we can make this a tradition of going to school for free to play football.”
While Brammer, Gales and Plonski have helped raise the awareness of the Brooklyn Tech program, expectations inside remain as high as ever.
“I think expectations outside of here might be a little higher based on the attention these guys are getting, but these guys have worked really hard for three years to get to the point they’re at,” McKenna said. “They welcome those expectations because they have the same expectations for themselves.”
Contact Dylan Butler at email@example.com
Follow him on Twitter: @Dylan_Butler