Broken Bow’s show-time quarterback, Christian Brumley, saw college football in his future from miles away.
Yet, when he signed to play at Harding University in February – at a position he did not anticipate he would play until recently – the experience was bittersweet.
“It was definitely tough for me to give up (playing) quarterback since that’s what I’ve worked on more than anything,” the senior gunslinger said. “But I’m OK with giving up quarterback because I love linebacker just as much, and it’s less stressful.”
Brumley was the last of a dying breed at Broken Bow: a player who calls the shots on both sides of the ball. Even in rural Oklahoma football, Brumley rarely met another quarterback who played defense during his high school career.
“I have always considered quarterback as my main position growing up. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how good I really was at linebacker,” Brumley said.
“Now, I’ve made the decision to go away from quarterback and play linebacker at Harding.”
He took to his proclivity for defensive playmaking at summer football camps, making sure to “let as many people know that” he was just as talented a defender as he was a quarterback – “in the most humble way.”
Following the Savages’ 7-4 2022 campaign, Brumley was decorated with a trophy case of postseason awards; He was voted 4A-4 Offensive MVP by district coaches after he torched local defenses to the tune of 3,016 yards and was named All-McCurtain County MVP for the second consecutive year.
When the Oklahoma Coaches Association dropped its 2023 All-State rosters, the pinnacle of achievement in high school sports, Brumley’s name was there, too, but this time on the defensive list. The achievement cemented Brumley as one of Oklahoma’s six best outside linebackers according to the state’s coaches.
“It feels amazing,” Brumley said. “I give all the glory to god. It seems like during all of the time that I was grinding, getting better and working hard, I was just doing it because I loved the game so much. . . It’s like all the awards and offers that I’m getting are extra.”
Brumley will graduate from Broken Bow this spring as one of its most accomplished all-time players. He accounted for 70 career touchdowns and over 400 tackles as a Savage.
“Christian is an outstanding young man on and off the field who works very hard and is a natural leader,” Broken Bow head coach Rod Davis said.
“I want to be remembered as a hard-worker, and I want to be remembered as the noticeable Christian that I am. How I walk, talk and act different,” Brumley said. “I will remember starting this next chapter that, when I was at the bottom of the totem pole in high school, I didn’t have any hype, and not very many people thought that I would accomplish what I have accomplished.”
Brumley, who Davis called an “excellent student,” will put his 4.6 GPA and Rubik’s Cube skills to good use at Harding, known for its academic excellence. He has not decided on a major but has considered physical therapy, sports medicine and coaching.
“I will keep in my mind at Harding that it doesn’t really matter where you start, it’s where you finish,” Brumley said.