Teller closing in on St. Al receiving record

Published 9:03 am Thursday, September 24, 2015

In his very first high school football game, Brandon Teller caught a 78-yard touchdown pass. Looking back now, he says it’s the moment he realized he belonged on the field.

“I realized I could do this. It’s not going to be as hard as I thought,” he said.

Two and a half years later, Teller is still making it look easy. The junior wide receiver is just 26 yards away from setting St. Aloysius’ school record for career receiving yards. He’s already got the records for receptions (58) and touchdowns (12), so the yardage record is the last major one on his list.

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Teller has 899 yards in just 2 ½ varsity seasons. Chip Donald set the school record of 924 yards from 2005-07. Teller will try to get the mark Friday night when the Flashes (1-4) host Adams County Christian School (5-0) for homecoming.

“I just got told about it, so it’s setting in,” Teller said, adding with a laugh. “I knew I was gaining on it last year, but I forgot about this year.”

Ever since catching that touchdown pass in the 2013 season opener against Cathedral, Teller has been a big part of St. Al’s success. He’s never led the team in receptions, despite catching at least 20 passes in each of his first two seasons, but has led the Flashes in receiving touchdowns both seasons.

He’s the first player ever to have at least 50 receptions or 10 touchdowns for St. Al, which has been playing football continuously since 1925.

Teller said his success has come from having success. It’s built his own confidence, he said, while also allowing him to gain the trust of his quarterbacks that he’ll make plays.

“Catching passes in games and giving our quarterbacks the confidence to throw to me. That’s why I’ve gotten so many opportunities to make it happen,” he said.

Teller is 6 feet tall, but only weighs about 165 pounds. He learned early on that, despite his small frame, he’d need to be tough to survive and thrive.

“My dad said don’t worry about getting hit, because you’re going to get hit either way. So I always focus on making the catch and not what’s coming after you. I’ve never forgotten that,” Teller said. “I mainly realized if you’re going to get hit, you might as well make the play.”

St. Al coach BJ Smithhart added that Teller has developed into a solid all-around receiver.

“He uses his body well. He adjusts his routes well. His hands have gotten better. He just snags things,” Smithhart said.

Teller seems poised to put all of St. Al’s receiving records well out of reach. He’s spent some time as the backup quarterback this season — he had a 75-yard touchdown run in mop-up duty in last week’s 41-21 win over Hartfield Academy — but still leads the Flashes this season with 12 receptions for 128 yards and four touchdowns.

Teller has a 4.1 GPA and made a 25 on the ACT on his first try, but figures college classes and not college football are in his future. His smallish size and modest speed will keep him from being a highly sought-after college prospect, no matter what kind of numbers he puts up.

That’s OK with Teller, though. He’s just enjoying the ride and the high school game.

“It’d take a lot for me to have a chance to go play in college,” Teller said. “I’m just going to enjoy high school while it lasts.”

ACCS AT St. Aloysius

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About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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