Dad was right.
During the football recruiting process, Redmond High’s Carson Bruener wondered if he would have a chance to play on the college level. Dad Mark told the Mustang to keep plugging away on the field and he’d see what’s waiting down the line.
Carson, a 6-foot-2/205-pound senior linebacker and occasional running back, followed his dad’s advice and accumulated 12 scholarship offers from some Pac-12 schools along with the University of Wisconsin and Northwestern University.
Following in Mark’s football footsteps, Carson committed to play at the University of Washington in June. He felt more comfortable staying close to home and continuing the family Husky legacy.
“As a kid, we went to every home game, especially with my dad playing there and my mom cheering, and now both my sisters are there. My aunt, uncle, cousin — it’s a big family school,” said Carson, adding that as a youngster, ”I just envisioned myself running out of the tunnel with the team, so now, finally gonna be able to do that in a year or so.”
Mark starred for UW at tight end from 1991-94, and then played pro for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1995-2003 and the Houston Texans from 2004-2008.
Carson heads into his senior season at Redmond after notching first-team defensive honors at linebacker his junior and sophomore years in 4A KingCo (Crown) and 3A KingCo. He earned a second-team Crown offense spot at tight end last fall.
Redmond has a talented squad from seniors to sophomores on tap this season, said Carson, including his brother Braydon. The brotherhood among the players stands at a premium during the team’s strength and conditioning sessions from Monday-Thursday each week and beyond the football realm.
“I drive all the sophomores home, they come over to our house, they hang out. I feel we’re just really close, which also helps us on the field because then on Friday night, when it really comes down to it, you look to your brother next to you and you know that they will get their job done,” said Carson, who had shoulder surgery last November and completed rehab during the school year. At UW, he’s interested in studying sports medicine and business.
Carson may stand 6-2 these days, but he laughed while discussing a photo taken of him while the family lived in Houston. He started with flag football at age 6 and then tackle the next year.
On the photo, he reflected: “I was one of the younger in the grade at that time, so I just remember running out of the tunnel, and I probably looked about 4 feet tall and everyone else is about 5-2, 5-3, whatever at that age, so I was just itty bitty.”
The Reporter asked Carson a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What have you learned from your dad and through all his football playing?
The main thing that he’s truly taught me that I’ve taken to heart is just to stay humble throughout this whole entire process. You never need to tell anyone how good you are, they will figure it out on the field by watching you. My dad said, ‘Hey, If you’re good enough, they’ll find you.’
What super power would you like to have?
What’s your favorite kind of music?
Country (Darius Rucker is a favorite).
Is there any kind of fear that you’d like to overcome?
As a kid, I got attacked by a big dog when I was like 7 years old. Sent me to the hospital and all that, but I was just like always scared of bigger (dogs). It was a Rottweiler, but I feel like I’ve now kind of gotten over it just because we know a few people with them. Go over and actually have to interact with the dog. Just spiders and snakes I hate, so hopefully one day I can get over that.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Ryan Shazier, linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s the one that had a hit and then got paralyzed from the waist down. Many said that he would never walk again, and now he’s defying odds and he’s now starting to jog and to run, and his overall goal is to get back to playing. Just to hear his whole story through all that. I’ve met him before and he’s an awesome dude. To get life lessons from him and be able to see what he was going through, then to compare it to myself, being like, ‘Hey, my life is actually not that bad. He’s going through a lot worse. I can overcome the little obstacles that are faced.’