Outside the Huddle and Blitz are counting down who they feel are the top 50 individual players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2023 season.
Our highest preseason honor, the 5th annual First Eleven profiles the top players (in the mind of Outside the Huddle) entering this fall.
No. 5: S/RB Braden Steely, senior, Carroll
Steely is one of those players that opposing teams (and their fans) love to hate, but wish they had ’em on their team.
The senior hits with authority. He hands out punishment more than any single player in the area, regardless of position. Every tackle is handed out with tremendous force that draws a reaction from players, coaches and fans on both sides of the field.
And he talks. Boy does he talk.
But he backs it up with his play, which is the most frustrating thing for the opposition.
Steely has exceptional instincts with the ability to read plays and where they are going. His closing speed from the safety position is unmatched. Opposing receivers going across the middle against Carroll know that Steely is lurking nearby, reading to lay down a massive hit.
He hands out that physicality offensively as well, having rushed for 482 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.
The Carroll senior is a polarizing player, one every team wishes they had.
Love him or loathe him, Steely is a top five player in northeast Indiana.
COACH’S QUOTE ON BRADEN STEELY“Braden is a dynamic athlete who can impact the game on both sides of the ball. He has really stepped up his game this year and was named a team captain. We will go as Braden goes this year.”– Carroll defensive coordinator Joe Rudolph