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2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Braelen Evans, CB, Western Oregon University

Braelen Evans the former Montana State CB and new Western Oregon University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot
  • Name: Braelen Evans
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 190
  • Position: Cornerback
  • College: Western Oregon
  • Twitter: @BraelenEvans

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

• My hometown is Baton Rouge,La. I just love the culture in Baton Rouge and I must say it is very different from where I live today which is Frisco,Tx. In the city it can be very easy to go down the wrong path just like anywhere else but my parents always did there best to steer me in the right direction and they always kept me in sports which kept me busy. 

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

• Strenghth and Conditioning has to come first because in order to perform well you have to be well prepared physically and that comes from being in the weight room as well as whatever you must do to be in the best shape to perform at your best, whether that be from the physical aspect of training, injury prevention protocols, or your diet. In my opinion, practice would come next because as an athlete or anyone wanting to do well at what they do they must practice in order to be well prepared for their job that is out in front of them. Last but not least, film study is important to understand your opponent. For myself playing cornerback we must understand the wide receivers tendencies as well as key the quarterback to detect what he likes to do in multiple situations throughout the game. Wide receivers typically run different route combinations by their alignment on the field whether they are lined up on the field or boundary side of the field. It’s very important to understand what the wide receivers are doing as well as the quarterback but it’s just important to understand the offensive lines tendencies too as they give away whether it’s run or pass just by the way they shift there weight when lined up in position as well as whether there heads are low or slightly higher to indicate if they are run blocking or going into pass pro. You can tell all of these things by studying film and that’s why it is so important to do so. 

What do you worry about, and why?

• I worry about not reaching my full potential at times just because I feel as though I am learning so much from year to year playing the game and I’ve gotten better with time from year to year. I will only get better as the time goes being that I am learning so much more about the game and about myself as well playing the game. There is always something I can work on or get better at and I have always been blessed with great coaches along my way of my collegiate career which helped me hone in on those things that help make me the player I am today. 

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

• When I was a junior in highschool going into my senior season I ended up tearing my ACL. I remember I worked extremely hard to rehab my body in order to bounce back from my injury but ended up failing my first functional test which would’ve cleared me to be able to get back on the field a little earlier than expected. I remember I was torn apart knowing that I failed the test and I just had to work harder and tweak some of the things I was doing in order to pass the test the next time I was scheduled to take it. It’s crazy how God works because that same day I remember going back to my highschool and I was icing my knee when I received a Facebook message from Scott Vestal who was a recruiter from Kansas University at the time. He was telling me how they watched my film and was interested in staying in contact because I was on the list of being one of their possible early offer guys. From that point on I was motivated more than ever to just keep attacking my rehab protocol in order to get me back on the field and that was just the motivation I needed to keep going because the next time I took the functional test, I ended up passing it.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

• Leadership and just being one of the guys on the team that is very likable and always their for his teammates. During the season I never wanted anyone of my teammates to feel down or left out at any point whether it was on or off the field or even from the practice field to the games. I feel like I am always there to encourage anyone and everyone and that’s why I am a leader. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

• Emmanuel Butler 

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football? 

• I love the game of football and have been playing it all my life but I would have to say being a trainer for either my position in football or just one of those trainers that help football players get ready for the season in the weight room and on the playing field similar to those of Exos or one of those major training facilities.

Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?

• Room because I feel I spend most of the time there.

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

• I would hope to think of a way to save whoever and however many people I could but if I had to choose it would be a family member because I would be torn apart knowing something happened to one of my family members knowing I could’ve been there to save them.

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

• Will Smith because I grew up watching movies and tv shows with him on them and I just feel he is overall just a good person to look up to from his story as well as who he has become now which is more of a motivational public figure in terms of helping others in any situation possible. 

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

• My biggest adversity in life would have to be when I tore my ACL and had to work harder than I’ve ever worked just to bounce back from it and become the player I am today. That moment in my life changed my life for the better and brought me closer to God. I tell everyone today that, I truly don’t know where I would be or the type of person I am today without it happening. It happened to change my life and I thank God it did happen to me because facing that test made me into a man while making my faith stronger. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

• When I was in highschool after practice on Tuesdays me and my friends would always go to Qdoba which is a Mexican Restaurant right down the street from my highschool. We’d go on Tuesdays because our meals were half off with our student ID cards. I remember walking in a little late and I knew all my friends were there so I met them over there and was in line ordering my food. I came up to the point where I had to pay and the cashier told me my card was declined. I tried to walk out before my friends saw me so I wouldn’t be embarrassed and I did so.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

• My strip sack during my junior season when I played for Montana State against Eastern Washington  just because it was a pivotal turn around to the game as it shifted our momentum to ultimately give us the spark we needed to try to push for a comeback in that game. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

• Bottom Boy Survivor by Rod Wave just because I feel like I can relate to it and I’ve been through some of the same things he talks about in the song.

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 

• My mind, mentally you must be ready for whatever in every aspect of life in order to be the best version of yourself as well as be the best for and towards those around you.

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

• My maw maw. She practically raised me growing up when my mom and dad were finishing up school. She helped mold me into being the man I am today and always told me, “what is for you will always be for you no matter what circumstances you may encounter along the way”. The quote stuck with me all my life and it defines me and my situations I’ve been in to where I have overcame hardships all my life putting me in the position I am today to accomplish my dreams.

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it? 

• BG’s only because living in Dallas now there is alot going on in the night life and me and my friend Gavin have joked around that if football doesn’t work out we need to open up a club uptown that would put all of the other spots to shame. We’d call it, BG’s obviously because my name is Braelen and his name is Gavin and it’s also pretty catchy.

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL? 

• I would have to say Jarvis Landry because I’ve seen his work ethic and remember seeing him and Odell practicing running there routes and catches during a practice when I went up to LSU. I also know his story and admire it because I understand how it is to grow up in a small city and try to become more of a hometown hero while giving his family a better way of life.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

• Respected. Anyone can like someone and still not respect them. Respect is everything.

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

• One of my life long friends Will Jones. Will is more like a brother to me and we grew up in Baton Rouge together. We were always neck and neck in whatever we did and competed in every way of life. I feel as though he may be in a different space today if he didn’t get injured but once that happened I just feel he hasn’t been the same and has struggled some in getting back to where he wants to be in not just sports but life in general.

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

• I love to win. I feel like if you hate to lose you may be fearful of losing and also a poor sport not wanting to give credit when it’s due to the person or team that may have beat you in whatever situation this can be termed in being in.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

• My dad just knowing all that he has went through over the term of his life from his up-bringing to now as a father to me and my siblings. I hope to be at least half of the man he is when I get older and have a family of my own, knowing all that he sacrifices just so our family can live in comfort.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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