BIG RAPIDS — When Big Rapids tight end and former Baldwin Panther Braeden Childress announced that he will be attending Central Michigan University next fall to continue his football career, there was a current Chippewa in the audience.

That Chippewa just happened to be Childress’ brother, Brandon Childress, a wide receiver for the Chippewas. He attended his brother’s signing ceremony on Dec. 21 in Big Rapids.

“It’s really exciting,” Brandon said. “Just him getting an offer for any college was exciting. To have it be the school I’m at makes it more exciting. It’s another chance for us to play again and show the world what we can do, and do it together.”

Childress, an All-CSAA and Pioneer Dream Team selection as a senior, chose the Chippewas over offers from Toledo, Eastern Michigan, and Ohio State (preferred walk-on). Childress plans on majoring in criminal justice and looks to minor in psychology or education.

As a team captain, Childress caught 28 passes for 439 yards and three touchdowns in 2017. For the Chippewas, Brandon Childress caught five passes for 42 yards and a touchdown in two games this season before suffering a season-ending ACL injury.

Braeden admitted during last week’s signing day press conference that he did not fully decide on committing to Central until taking his official visit to Mount Pleasant two weekends ago.

Brandon did his best to offer Braeden good advice during the recruiting process while opting to let his little brother make his own decision.

“I would tell him all the time that he has to do what he needs to do to make him happy,” Brandon said. “We wanted him to make a decision on his own and he did. I’m just happy he chose Central.”

Brandon and Braeden played on the same team once before, when Brandon was a senior and Braeden a freshman at Baldwin High. But the two have always dreamed of playing with each other at the next level. Now that dream is set to come true in Mount Pleasant next fall.

“Our dad told us when we were kids that we were good enough to play at the next level,” Brandon said. “When we were in high school we were like ‘what if we play together at the next level?’ That day has come true and it’s exciting.

I’m excited to see what the future holds.”