Brayden Kearsley is still technically committed to BYU in the way that the Oregon-based offensive tackle gave the coaching staff a verbal pledge and remains in frequent contact with program representatives. On paper he's still a confirmed member of the school's 2013 class. That's the good news for the Cougars.
The bad news is that, at least at this point, his commitment means next to nothing. It's little more than a placeholder. Facts are facts. And fact is that Kearsley likes Oregon State every bit as much as he does BYU.
"They're pretty much tied at No. 1 right now," Kearsley said on Sunday. "They're both right there."
The 6-foot-5, 295-pound Kearsley has attended every Oregon State home game this season, taking time to talk to Beavers coaches on every trip. This weekend was no different. He was on hand as Oregon State downed Arizona State 36-19. And while he didn't see anything that caused him to break his BYU commitment, the chase is certainly intensifying.
"I'm definitely open," Kearsley said. "I go to Oregon State almost every other weekend. I get to know the staff better every time I go down there. I just talk to them before the game and after the game and stuff."
While the Cougars and Beavers are deadlocked at the top, other programs will also get the chance to make their pitches. Kearsley recently scheduled an official visit to Washington for Nov. 17 and is in the process of setting up more trips. If BYU is to hold on to Kearsley, it's going to have to survive the upcoming storm.
"I'm definitely going to take all my visits and stuff," Kearsley said. "It's pretty much going to be Oregon State, Arizona State, BYU and the University of Washington. "
And so Kearsley, a committed prospect, suddenly has another decision to make. After he wraps up his travel plans, he'll decide between reaffirming his BYU commitment and breaking it completely in favor of another school.
The choice is one that could come as late as February's national signing day.
"My dad is going with me on all my visits to help me out with my decision, so it could take a while," Kearsley said. "We have to work around my dad's wrestling schedule because he's the head wrestling coach at my high school.
Kearsley is the No. 3 prospect in the state or Oregon and the 35th-ranked offensive tackle in America. This season, he helped lead Beaverton (Ore.) Aloha High School to a 7-2 overall record.