Home Sports Local Sports Brandon Perez is headed to NMMI

Brandon Perez is headed to NMMI

Roswell Coyote football player Brandon Perez will continue his education and career at NMMI. Seated in the front row L-R: Sarah Perez, grandmother, Brandon Perez, Roman Perez, grandfather. Back Row L-R: Jared Perez, brother, Nayelli Morales, cousin, Randy Perez, dad, Rosa Perez, mom, Danny Lopez, and Eric Lopez, brothers. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

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To the average Roswell High School football fan, the play might not have been a big deal. But to the Coyote coaching staff, it spoke volumes about what kind of sophomore season Brandon Perez would have in 2015 when teamed with his older brother, Jared. Together, they formed the “pain and punishment duo.”

Brandon Perez No. 22 is getting ready to take a handoff from the Coyote quarterback against the Belen Eagles in the semifinal game. Perez will be playing football at NMMI this fall. (David Rocha Photo)

“Brandon has a lot of good football qualities,” Roswell position coach Arturo Bolanos said. “He genuinely loves the game, he’s probably the only kid in all of my years of coaching that loves the game day in and day out. He’s probably one of the hardest hitters I’ve ever come across. He’s a playmaker that’s always coming downhill to make a big hit.”

At the Wool Bowl against powerhouse Artesia, the Bulldog receiver ran a pass route into Perez’s area. Perez rerouted the receiver with a hit to the chest in which the player had to be helped off the field and not return to the game.

That would not be the only big hit Brandon would deliver that year. As a free safety, he and his brother Jared made a crushing hit on a Silver City receiver who ran a slant rout on them. Both brothers hit the receiver high, with the receiver dropping the ball. Not only did the ball fall to the ground, but the receiver did as well, lying motionless as he had to be taken off the field in an ambulance. The Coyotes would go on to win, 43-8.

“Honestly, just to play side by side with my brother, (Brandon) that was my favorite part of that season,” Jared said. “I knew if anything came to our side, we could handle our business.”

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New Mexico Military Institute coach Joe Forchtner has watched Perez grow as a sophomore into a bedrock hitter at safety. He believes Perez is the type of hitter who could make a difference on their defense and contribute right away, on special teams if not on defense. Forchtner likes the way Perez plays with an edge.

“We’ve been watching him for two years,” Forchtner said. “He’s tough, fast and nasty. If he was 6-foot tall, we‘d be talking about him playing at bigger schools. He has that kind of talent. He will be able to help our secondary.”

Perez feels like he will miss playing at the Wool Bowl and his teammates. One of the legacies he wants the younger defensive backs for the Coyotes to pick up is his hard-hitting ability.

“The thing with Brandon is you never had to coach effort,” Roswell head coach Jeff Lynn said. “He was physical, and he started for us since his sophomore year. He always made good grades and worked his tail off. He made good grades; he’s been a model citizen in our program.”

The most important thing for his mom, Rosa Perez, is that Brandon is able to get his education and achieve his goals.

“For him to be able to play at the next level,”  Brandon’s dad, Randy Perez said. “For him to do what he loves and go to a great school and get a great education is a big thing for us because he’s worked hard for it.”

Perez feels like the Friday night lights of putting on the pads and walking onto the Wool Bowl changed his life. Playing football for Roswell made him a better player.

“It’s a blessing,” Brandon said. “Not everyone gets to carry on with the things they love. I get the opportunity to do what I love, so it’s a blessing. I want to thank everybody who has supported me and been there with me through everything.”

Both brothers shared another of their favorite memories of playing together. It was a picture someone gave him of a hit against a Goddard football player, with Jared making the hit and Brandon intercepting the ball as Roswell beat Goddard for the first time in 15 years, 42-35 in 2015. In that game, Jared had four solo tackles and one assist, and Brandon had five solo tackles and three assists.

“What made me choose NMMI is that I had a lot of influence from my parents, coaches and friends,” Brandon said. “This means the world to me, the opportunity to play at the next level is a great thing. Playing with Jared was the best feeling ever. I had his back and he had mine.”

Perez would like to continue playing football at the University of Colorado. When Perez is done tackling players, he would like to go into Physical Occupational Therapy. With advice from coach Lynn, Perez plans on staying humble and working for everything. Signing with NMMI shows he’s off to a good start.

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