October 20, 2014

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Highland graduates appear in ‘Draft Day’ movie about Browns

The Kevin Costner movie “Draft Day” brought the Browns to the big screen. And a few local high-school standouts  were brought along for the ride. (AP PHOTO)

The Kevin Costner movie “Draft Day” brought the Browns to the big screen. And a few local high-school standouts were brought along for the ride. (SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT PHOTO VIA AP)

Three Highland High School graduates saw themselves on the silver screen when a big-budget movie about their favorite NFL team was released earlier this month.

Tyler Houska, of Wadsworth, and brothers Adam and Bryan Krause, of Medina Township, appear in “Draft Day,” starring Kevin Costner, which hit theaters April 11. Costner plays the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.

Houska and the Krause brothers played football for Highland.

Bryan and Adam Krause, of Medina Township, are former Highland athletes and avid Browns fans who appear in Kevin Costner’s movie “Draft Day.” The two were filmed during a regular season game last year. In the screenshot from the film’s trailer, Bryan is to the left of Adam, who is wearing his “Bonehead” outfit. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

Bryan and Adam Krause, of Medina Township, are former Highland athletes and avid Browns fans who appear in Kevin Costner’s movie “Draft Day.” The two were filmed during a regular season game last year. In the screenshot from the film’s trailer, Bryan is to the left of Adam, who is wearing his “Bonehead” outfit. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

Houska, 23, who graduated from Highland in 2009, was a linebacker and tight end, and then he wrestled and played football for four years at Ashland University.

Adam, 25, played center up until his senior year at Highland and graduated in 2008. Bryan, 27, a 2005 graduate, played wide receiver all four years at Highland and later at Ohio Wesleyan University.

The three jumped at the chance to be in a movie about the sport they played and the team they love.

“It was something on the news. They said they needed football players, and they were shooting in Cleveland, so I looked into it,” Houska said. “Then I got an email back about being an extra, and so I did it.”

Houska, a lifelong Browns fan, was filmed in two scenes but only one made the final cut. He’s seen playing center — No. 91 — for the University of Wisconsin Badgers football team in a game against the Ohio State University Buckeyes. In the scene, the Wisconsin coach is talking with Costner’s character, Sonny Weaver Jr.

Houska said he was paid about minimum wage for 11 hours of work in the film. But he didn’t do it for the money.

“I just did it for the fun, for the chance of being in a movie about the Browns,” he said.

Houska also got to meet Costner.

“In between shots, he came and talked to us. He’s a real nice guy, real laid back. We had a good time,” he said.

Houska now works in medical supply sales, but wouldn’t pass up another shot at the big screen.

“I didn’t think much would come of it afterwards, but if the opportunity came up I would do it,” he said.

Adam Krause said he and his brother didn’t know they were in the movie until the saw the preview on television.

“I watched the preview and I saw us in there and thought ‘no way!’” he said. “But then we went to the movie and it became real.”

The Krauses are shown in a crowd shot near the end of the movie, during the season opener kickoff scene, he said.

He said those shots were taken during a live Browns game he and Bryan attended last season.

There are several crowd shots and Krause said he and his brother are in the fourth or fifth. Krause is wearing his fan outfit, which consists of a Browns No. 69 brown jersey, shoulder pads with dog bones sticking out of them, and an old-fashioned Jim Brown-era Browns helmet with dog bones running down the center of it. His brother Bryan is standing to his right.

Also a lifelong fan, Krause said he’s been wearing the “Bonehead” outfit to games for the past five years.

Krause said he was also shown in some episodes of the Travel Channel show “NFL Road Tested” that ran last year and featured the Browns.

Krause said he enjoyed “Draft Day” but wondered whether it appeals to people who aren’t Browns fans.

“I think it was a really good movie, but as a Browns fan would you go to a movie that was about Baltimore or Pittsburgh?” he said.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.