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Brayden Platt signs with Oregon Ducks, ready for next chapter

Yelm's all-state linebacker signs with the Ducks on Wednesday, details his upcoming 2024 schedule - and explains what transpired in the WIAA title game

YELM, Wash. - For a guy who is rarely frantically-paced, four-star Yelm linebacker Brayden Platt's life has been a whirlwind the past month.

He was able to enjoy a signature moment Wednesday - signing with the Oregon Ducks football team at the start of the national early signing period.

It was a bit of a farewell for the all-state linebacker, widely considered the top prospect from Washington. His last day of high school was Friday, and he is set to enroll in college for winter quarter in Eugene.

Bigger news is what he will attempt to do this spring - compete for the Ducks' men's track and field program and also go through spring camp with the football team.

"It is a big step," Platt said. "You get 24 hours in a day, and as long as I spend them correctly, I should be good."

His immediate schedule is as follows:

* Platt leaves Jan. 1 for the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, and plays in the senior all-star game Jan. 6.

* The next day, Platt flies back to Eugene to get moved in and registered for winter-quarter classes.

* A week later, Platt is on the road again, this time for the Polynesian Bowl, which is played Jan. 19 in Hawaii.

It is a hectic start to his college career, but Platt admitted he is "definitely ready" for a new challenge.

"I loved my time here, but it is time to take the next step and better myself," Platt said.

Some ready-for-the-next step fuel also came from how his prep career ended in the WIAA Class 3A championship game at Husky Stadium.

Platt was ejected late in the first quarter against Bellevue after game officials ruled he had thrown a punch at Wolverines defender Damaad Lewis - all coming after the Yelm standout had his helmet ripped off during a run.

The Wolverines went on to win, 14-0.

Platt spoke about the incident publicly for the first time Wednesday, explaining he wasn't attempting to punch anybody but rather just shove the defensive back away after the play ended.

"I wish I could have gone back and done it differently obviously," he said. "I think I just got a little caught up in the heat of the moment.

"I did it like other times in the year - my hand was open and I was trying to push him away. It went too far up and hit his helmet."

Platt finished his senior season with 1,328 yards and 22 touchdowns on offense, and 99 tackles, including 22 tackles for loss, and six sacks on defense.