CLOSER LOOK: Roosevelt WR Bran. Zuidema

Take a closer look at Eastvale Roosevelt senior Brandon Zuidema and though it’s difficult to see past his overwhelming height, you’ll see a player leading by example.

His is usually the best football body on the football field each and every Friday night. At 6-foot-5, 190 pounds, Zuidema utilizes his astonishing physique to exploit linebackers and dominate defensive backs.

And though he doesn’t say much on the sideline, preferring to consult with his quarterback, he does a lot of talking with his play. Like in a 50-22 victory over Riverside Poly in Week 5, when he caught 10 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns a week after the Mustangs lost 49-7 to Norco in Week 4.

“We just have to keep getting better,” Zuidema says.

Which isn’t to say Zuidema (or ‘Z’ to his teammates) doesn’t have swagger. He does.

“Gotta come out, get our little win streak going, come out against Centennial, North coming up,” he adds.

The thing is, Zuidema knows he’s expected to play like the best player on the field, and his persona reflects that. He’s just not as outwardly intense as some others chose to behave.

“Z’ has sort of a quiet confidence for the modern-day.

He doesn’t showboat over 5-foot-6 defenders nor does he celebrate wildly when he gets both feet down on catch off a fade pass into the back corner of the end zone. At times he’s so good one almost expects him to gloat, but he doesn’t. And that shows maturity.

“We just have to come out stronger. We came out pretty weak,” he says, focusing the game internally.

He then provided some insight into the team’s infrastructure, saying “we gotta get all our injured players back. We still have a couple of starters out. Their grades aren’t straight. Gotta get everyone’s grades straight, get back on the field.”

Those are the sort of topics most players avoid. And Zuidema doesn’t just not avoid them, he’s up-front and direct.

Those are qualities of a leader.

In a strange twist, he said only one school was one his radar.

“I gotta get a scholarship offer soon. Trying to get offered to San Diego State. That’s my No. 1 goal right now,” he said.

Really? San Diego State? But I only thought that. I’m not in it to burst a kid’s bubble.

The Aztecs should consider themselves lucky if they land Zuidema. His ceiling is so much higher than the Mountain West Conference or the WAC, or whatever.

He should absolutely play for a BCS title-eligible program under a big-name coach. Then, with a little bit of luck, Zuidema should play on Sundays.

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