2025 QB Brayden Smith excels with pocket presence and ability to read defenses | Youth1

2025 QB Brayden Smith excels with pocket presence and ability to read defenses

Authored by: Ed O'Brien, @EdOBrienCFB

Bradyen Smith is a Class of 2025 quarterback from the state of New York. He plays for Cicero-North Syracuse High School and is the starting quarterback on the JV team. The 5'11 just completed his JV season and is currently traveling with the varsity team during the playoffs. As a youth, Smith played for the Cicerno-North Youth Football organization located in Syracuse. He played on both sides of the football field for Cicerno-North. Now, he just plays the quarterback positon. This season was Smith’s first at the high school level and he’s seen some success on the field. Smith talked about some of the things that has helped him as a football during the season. 

“The season went really good,” Smith said when asked about his season. “We went 7-1 I believe. I don’t know any of my stats.” After doing some research and watching his highlights, I found out that Smith threw for 1,084 yards and 14 touchdowns in eight games. Smith has some playmakers at his disposal and he does a great job of getting them the football via his passing. He credited his early success to the way he prepared during the offseason. “ I worked a lot on my mechanics,” said Smith. “I really got those down pat and it seems to have helped a lot.”


Another thing that helped the Smith on the football field is the fact that he’s a multi-sport athlete. He plays football and plans on either playing lacrosse or running track this spring. Smith says that lacrosse has given him some insight on how to read a defense in football. “It’s (lacrosse) helped my ability to break down the defense and know what they’re going to do before they even know what they’re going to do,” said Smith. 


In his most recent game, Smith was a big reason why his team was able to dominate their opponent. “It was the best [game] so far,” Smith said when asked what was his best game this season. “I had three touchdowns and 250 yards in the first half. I didn’t get to play after that because we were winning by so much and they pulled me out. That was definitely the best one so far.”


One of the things I look at in young quarterbacks is how they handle pressure in the pocket. Smith is mobile and able to extend plays by either stepping up in the pocket, sliding to either side in the pocket, or rolling outside of the pocket to make a pass. Right now, I think his decision-making in the pocket is one of his best attributes. I look forward to watching his process as he progresses in his high school football career.




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