Jadon Brisendine: The Right Stuff


Multi-sport and incredibly talented student-athlete is looking to reach the same pinnacle as a quarterback as he has in a sport that doesn’t always come to mind


Airing it Out

When we first heard about Jadon Brisendine of Vanden (Fairfield, Calif.) the thought was the title of the story should be “Airing it Out.”

After all, Brisendine is a quarterback that threw for a school and league record 2,949 yards and 43 touchdowns last season.Jadon Throwing Pic350

Vanden finished 8-4 and made it to the California Interscholastic Federation Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs second round before losing in a 62-42 slugfest to Sacramento Inderkum. Brisendine aired it out for 301 yards and four scores in the loss.

Not only does this 6-2, 180-pound incoming senior play a pretty mean quarterback, Brisendine also punts, kicks off and kicks conversions, and sometimes even kicks field goals.

Also, Jadon does it at a school where a high percentage of the students come from nearby Travis Air Force Base, where his father is an officer in the Air Force and where Brisendine and his family live.

Obviously “Airing it Out” would have been a very appropriate title for Jadon’s story, however you’ll understand the switch after his other accomplishments are unveiled.

From deployment to the dojo

When Captain Frank Brisendine returned in 2003 from deployment in Saudi Arabia, where he served evacuating critically injured soldiers by air transport, he told Jadon that if the then six-year old stayed enrolled in the beginner karate class at a local dojo run by a military member, he would join and they would get their black belts together. A pact was made.

Jadon excelled at a record pace and won Grand Champion in his first tournament. After five years at the very strict school the father/son duo underwent a grueling eight-hour black belt testing session consisting of a 5K run at 5 a.m. followed by drills, questioning and self defense against a senior black belt panel ranging from 2nd degree to a 5th degree master.

In the final match father and son fought side by side and although Jadon was totally spent and bleeding from the nostrils, the duo completed the pact they had made four years earlier. They had achieved what only around three percent of martial artists ever achieve. They earned a first degree black belt in Shotokan karate.

At the time Jadon was 10-years old and the youngest student to ever earn a black belt from that dojo.

Track and swimming too!

Besides football and karate, Jadon is a member of the Vanden 4 x 100 team that has run a 42.75 top mark. The quartet recently qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet and looked possibly headed to the State Track Meet, but a dropped baton on the final leg of the qualifier squashed those hopes and dreams.

He doesn’t swim competitively but Jadon is an excellent swimmer, something you’ll read about him needing in his career plans.

Started as a linemen

After receiving his black belt Jadon started really concentrating more on football. However, the quarterbacking came later.Jadon Profile Pic4

“I started playing football when I was six but I played lineman until the seventh-grade. That’s when the coaches realized I had an arm,” the younger Brisendine told NFA Nation

NFA and The Range

The Brisendine family arrived at Travis in 2010 from Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, and Jadon met Tom Koss through his son Tyler.

Koss, a 1986 Air Force Academy D1 quarterback recruit that retired from Air Force active duty in 2010, wanted to get into coaching and helping quarterbacks.

“I was looking at numerous QB schools/academies. The overall package of NFA was the choice for me based on the instruction, commitment to developing not only great players but also great young men, and the overall integrity of (NFA Founder and President) Darin Slack and the academy’s staff,” Koss remarked.

“Coach Koss did all the research and found the NFA,” Jadon remarked.

By 2012 Koss was working with Jadon, had become an NFA certified coach, and also joined the Vanden staff as the strength and conditioning and quarterbacks coach.

That was also when Jadon was introduced to the NFA and Director of Player Development Will Hewlett.

Since then Brisendine has attended three NFA camps in Northern California and has had several private lessons with Hewlett at The Range in Livermore, Calif.

“Brisendine had a great season prior to us working together,” Hewlett remarked. “What we focused on was making his throw more fluid and getting his legs and core more involved. Saw a good increase in velocity and more consistency. Definitely some good improvements.”

“The thing I like most about NFA is their attention to detail. That’s how I was raised,” Jadon said and then continued. “When you get the small things correct the big picture really improves. Since beginning with NFA my throws have improved a great deal and my ability to read defenses has become a lot clearer.”


Besides Captain Frank, who played football and basketball in high school in Illinois, there’s Jadon’s mother Jenn Brisendine. She ran track in high school and served four years in the Air Force before attending San Antonio College. Now, Jenn is raising Jadon and his 12-year old brother Brylon Brisendine.

Just like his big brother, Brylon is a multi-sport athlete and excels in basketball, football, soccer and track.

This year’s goals

Not only did Vanden make it to the second round of the playoffs last season, the Vikings only lost one game in league to finish second in the Solano County Athletic Conference to new arch rival American Canyon.

“We ran out of time last year,” said Jadon of the 44-36 loss to American Canyon. “My thoughts are to come back and not only beat them, but destroy them. We’re eager to get back at them.”

“Overall, this year’s goal is to get back in the playoffs and not just go further than last year but win the championship.”

Jadon’s favorite player

“Tom Brady and not just because he’s so good and everybody else likes him. It’s because he was an underdog and underrated and went out and tore it up.”

jaden41College plans

There has been some Ivy League interest in Jadon, and he has interest in the University of San Diego, and possibly the Merchant Marine Academy, but not the Naval Academy, which is surprising until you hear his reasoning.

In the Navy – and guess what he wants to be

Jadon is a kid that does it all and knows where he wants to go and what he wants to do.

“When you go to the Naval Academy you come out an officer and I want to enlist in the Navy,” said the 3.5 GPA student-athlete who tells NFA Nation his favorite subject is math.”

But why, with his martial arts training, athletic prowess, and swimming proficiency, would he not consider going to Navy and becoming a Navy Seal.

“That’s exactly the plan,” said Jadon matter-of-factly and with a slight chuckle. “That’s why I’m looking at University of San Diego where Coach Hewlett thinks it would be a good fit. I want to enlist and become a Seal and they train in San Diego.”

The Right Stuff was a 1983 movie about the Air Force, Navy and Marines finest pilots.

Jadon Brisendine might not want to be a pilot, but he looks like he will be airing it out as a quarterback at the next level somewhere – and it certainly appears he has the right stuff to serve his country as a Navy Seal.