Effort and Energy the Center of Lenzy's Success

February 20, 2017

2018 wide receiver Braden Lenzy has been the hot topic on amongst Notre Dame fans over the last few weeks as he inches towards a decision. The four-star prospect visited Notre Dame for Junior Day with his father, Melvin.

Lenzy believes his 6-foot, 165-pound son is handling the recruiting process well but admits it’s still a crazy process.

“For him, it’s an honor to have schools are considering him to play for them,” the elder Lenzy told Irish Sports Daily. “He has been trying to learn as much about the schools as he can. He wants to find a good fit for him academically and to play football. He is also looking to possibly run track in college too.”

“I wouldn’t say it’s overwhelming, but it can get to be taxing for him. I can only imagine some of those big five-star recruits that have 50 offers. Media sources and coaches trying to talk to them all the time has to be crazy. Braden has done a good job of balancing talking to different schools and different media outlets but then managing his classwork and what he needs to do there.”  

When it comes to getting a read on his son, Lenzy says Braden has been low-key throughout their visits. Staying grounded is a topic the two have discussed and it has led to Lenzy not making a decision on his future based on pure emotion.

Braden has done a good job of having a poker face. - Melvin Lenzy on his son's emotions
” laughed Lenzy. “He doesn’t really show a ton of emotion when he is on a visit. We’ve talked about the visits being emotional because he is making a huge decision and to not get caught up in the emotion.”

2018 Irish commit Markese Stepp told Lenzy Notre Dame’s campus was something he couldn’t explain and the Oregon native didn’t know what he meant at the time. When Lenz stepped foot on campus in South Bend, he immediately knew what Stepp was talking about.

“He was walking around and taking it all in,” Lenzy recalled. “I could tell he liked the campus, it’s beautiful. The presentation on the facilities and the football stadium was something he definitely enjoyed.

“When you’re on campus, you can’t help but feel the history and tradition of Notre Dame. It’s all around you. I think he felt the tradition of Notre Dame when he was there for sure.”

Excitement as a recruit is something that happens every time you visit a campus and Lenzy still gets excited to visit the hometown team.  

“He’s been to Oregon a few times and he loves Oregon too,” explained Lenzy. "He’s a big track guy. Obviously, being at Hayward Field and Bautzen Stadium, there is an energy of what the program represents. It’s a different type of energy.

“He’s grown up ‘on Oregon’s campus’ so he’s been familiar with it. He gets goose bumps when he goes to Oregon. It wasn’t like when he was at Notre Dame he was thinking ‘This feels better than Oregon.’ It’s just a different feel.”

While Lenzy feels the positive energy on each campus he visits, he is still able to maintain his composure and look at the finer details from a mature perspective. The glitz and glamor schools throw at him is taken in, but the Tigard star is looking at the smallest of details.

“I think for him every new campus that he gets on gives him a different feeling,” Lenzy stated. “You’ve got the architecture and what the footprint of what that school represents. You have the scenery in terms of what the landscape looks like. Is it a largely pedestrian campus or something you have to navigate? All that goes into consideration in what his campus life is going to be like.”

Nike isn’t paying him. Nike pays me. - Melvin Lenzy
With Lenzy the hot topic on message boards, the question has been whether or not his father’s Nike background will influence his son’s decision. Melvin leads branding efforts for Kobe Bryant and Anthony Davis, but don’t expect his job to impact his son’s decision.

“Nike is where I work,” said Lenzy. “My company isn’t going to put pressure on him to sign at a Nike school or anything of that nature. For us, it’s all about finding the best fit academically and athletically. Could you find a future partner for marriage? Could you live there? What type of life are you going to have there for the next four or five years?

That’s been our advice on a school. It’s not ‘Hey, this is a Nike school. This is an Adidas school. This is an Under Armour school.’ Nike isn’t paying him. Nike pays me.”

The elder Lenzy is clearly aware of the comments out there by some fans, but it’s pretty clear that his job won’t have a factor in his son’s recruitment.

“I’ve seen the comments,” laughed Lenzy. “I would say if that was the case, he would have never taken the visit to Notre Dame. If that was really something that was in play, he would have never gone to Notre Dame or some of other schools on visits.”

The Nike comments don’t end at Lenzy’s recruitment but it goes deeper into the life of the speedster. Lenzy has played with a chip on his shoulder to prove himself more than most his age.

“Quite frankly to a certain degree, some of the Nike conversation has been a detriment to him,” Lenzy explained. “We have heard people say ‘The only reason he has this offer is because his dad works at Nike.’

“He’s had to overcome that and prove it’s his athletic talent over any connection I may or may not have to a university that has provided him an opportunity. With that mindset, he’s always had that underdog mentality. He’s always had to prove himself.”  

That work ethic has earned Lenzy offers from Notre Dame, Cal, Michigan State, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and USC but don’t expect his father or mother to push him towards a school.

“I am definitely not pushing him towards Stanford, Notre Dame, Michigan State or anywhere else,” stated Lenzy. “The role of my wife and I is to challenge his questions and make sure he has thought everything through.

“It’s his decision for the next four or five years. I am not going to be the one on campus going to practice and doing homework in the Business school. I am not there having to be an adult on a college campus. I can’t tell him where to go because he has to be happy there.”  

As his son’s senior season approaches and eventually a commitment, Lenzy has seen his son implement lessons he and his wife have taught him. Much like with his own life, Lenzy has made sure his sons know talent will only get you so far in life.

“Effort and energy are something we’ve always talked about to him and his brother when they were younger,” said Lenzy. “We have told them they have whatever ability God has given them, but if you don’t give effort and energy against that talent then you won’t be successful.

“I’d say that’s the biggest thing we’ve tried to teach him.”
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