On Wednesday morning, I had the opportunity to interview Kansas State CB Julius Brents during the media breakfast in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl. Brents was a little taken aback when I approached him, as he previously went to the University of Iowa for his first three seasons where I worked in the Football Strength and Conditioning department during the spring of 2019. He was in my lifting group and I got to know him well through the workouts, spring ball practices, and manning the nutrition station, seeing him several times on a daily basis.
I started out by asking him how his time in Mobile has been thus far since arriving Sunday, to which he responded that he’s just taking it all in and enjoying the process.
“It’s been good man,” Brents said. “It’s been a blessing just to be around this type of environment…the best of the best. Ultimately, just competing, man. It’s what you love to do. Especially being my position in cornerback. You just want to compete and I’m loving it so far.”
Brents has been swarmed by media the first two days of the Senior Bowl, having many people intrigued with his impressive height and length at the CB position. Through two days of practice, he has looked the part, locking up bigger receivers down the field while managing to win some reps against the smaller, shiftier receivers like shown in the Tweet above.
I then asked Brents about his transition from playing with the Hawkeyes to the Wildcats and what a ride it was for him to be a part of a team that knocked off unbeaten TCU to win the Big XII Championship game.
“Honestly that transition was pretty easy for me, you know?” Brents answered. “Two great programs…just like the mentality they have. Blue collar… just hard work. Just you want to try and go get it and no excuses. Just come in every day and be consistent. So, it definitely was an easy transition for me. As far as this year, just reflecting on it, I haven’t really had a whole lot of time to reflect on it because I’ve just been working. Just looking back on it, man, it was something definitely monumental for just for the K-State program. Bringing that back for our fans. Just awesome. Just winning the Big XII, man…it was great.”
Brents had a breakout season for the Wildcats in a year where K-State went 10-4, won the Big XII Championship Game over CFP runner-up TCU, and played in the Sugar Bowl against the Alabama Crimson Tide. He posted 45 total stops (28 solo), four PBUs, four INTs, and a forced fumble. Standing in at 6’3, 202lb with 33 3/4” hands and an 82 7/8” wingspan, he has the length and body type that NFL teams salivate for on the boundary.
After asking about his college season, I asked Brents about what it is like to have GMs and coaches from all the NFL teams and if he has seen Steelers HC Mike Tomlin on the field watching him during practice and has spoken with him.
“Ya, we had been going through interviews and meetings,” Brents said. “I had a chance to be able to talk with him, so yeah, for sure. Yeah. But, yeah man, every other coach out here has been great.”
To close out my interview with Julius Brents, I asked him about what he is looking to show scouts during the pre-draft process that they may have questions on regarding his game to help improve his draft stock and vault himself into the higher rounds come April.
“I think a lot of people know, like with me being in 6’3 corner…just watch the film,” Brents said. “They can see that I can run. I don’t feel like everybody knows like how good I am within the box. My short area quickness and I feel like I kind of showcased that yesterday and continue just to build on from yesterday and continue to present it for the next three or four days.”
It was great to catch up with Brents who I haven’t seen in nearly four years, but still talk like we saw each other yesterday. He has really grown as a player since seeing him at the end of his freshman year as well as a man, carrying himself well in interviews while becoming a leader on the K-State defense. As of now, Julius Brents is projected to be a mid-round pick this spring, but playing well at the Senior Bowl and testing well at the Combine could shoot his stock upward giving his tantalizing physical traits.
The Steelers are in the market for adding another young cover corner to the team this offseason and Brents could fit the bill as a prototypical outside boundary corner that still has plenty of room for growth as he makes his transition from the college game to the NFL.