H.S. FOOTBALL | Jairus Brents Turning His Tragedy Into Triumph

08/24/2017 02:32 PM

Jairus Brents doesn’t say too much. He prefers to let his play do the talking.

“If I asked him to go run through that wall right now and get me what is on the other side, he would just say, you know ‘Am I going head-first or feet first?’ Waggener Head Coach Jordan Johnson said. “You know, he’ll do anything and that loyalty is going to go a long way. The people that- whichever school gets him, they’re going to have a young man that will do whatever they ask and go far above and beyond what an average kid will do.”

Brents, the top uncommitted senior in the state (a consensus four-star prospect) recently released his top ten schools, Kentucky being the only in-state program to make the cut. He was disappointed Louisville backed off his recruitment early in high school, but the toughest thing for him to overcome was the loss of his father.

“Well it just took a big turn because he was there with me ever since I was little,” Brents explained. “He was the one who introduced me to football, so it was just a big turn, you know? But [it was] just a stepping stone in life. I got over it, I’ve got a great support team in Coach Johnson, Chris Vaughn, the athletic director, Coach D. You know, I got a great support staff.”

For Brents, football became less about the game, and more about honoring his late father.

“He uses it to get a release. His dad had trained him since he was at an early age and, you know, this is kind of his way to kind of pay his respects to his dad and do what his dad wanted and you know, he knows that his dad is looking down on him proud of what he can accomplish on the field,” Johnson said.

His trainer and God-father, Chris Vaughn, agreed.

“It was hard on him. He quickly became the man of the house and handled a lot of responsibilities that a kid that young shouldn’t have to take on. He kind of took that with him and used that fuel to turn himself into the football player that he is today and kind of make his father proud. So when Jairus plays football, he remembers a lot of times he spent with his father.”

Another top recruit, Tahj Rice, is one of Brents’ closest friends. He’s seen the growth in his teammate first-hand.

“When we were freshman, he had a lot of things going on and just to see him mature into what he is now and see how he cares about others and not just himself, it’s just amazing,” Rice explained.

Brents has played numerous positions for the Wildcats- from punt and kick return, to receiver and running back, defensive back and now even quarterback. He says QB is his favorite, but not because he is calling the shots.

“Quarterback is the most fun position on the field, you know, you get to control the game and it feels good getting your other teammates the ball and watching them score and them getting to celebrate, so quarterback is my favorite position,” Brents told Spectrum News.

He admits that DB is his best position, which is what all of his top ten schools are primarily recruit him to play. When asked what coaches would get in Brents as a commit, everyone thought of a different side of Jairus.

“Athletically, you know, there’s nobody as athletic as him in the country. And his will to win, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Johnson said.

His younger brother and teammate Javon Brents, had a slightly different response.

“He’s a sweet guy. He’s sweet, you know he’s got a little soft spot, but he always has to be, you know, the tough guy all the time but down deep he’s a sweet guy.”

“Jairus is a competitor. I’d put him up against anybody when it’s time to line up and compete. He’s a kid that expects to be the best and expects to be the best at everything he does,” Vaughn added.

Jairus even explained himself what coaches should expect if he chooses their school.

“Don’t get into too much trouble. Respectful and give my all on the field every- I really haven’t had a bad game since I was like four. You know? So they’ll get 100 percent, you know, I can do my assignment and more.”

Brents doesn’t have a time frame yet for when he wants to commit, but plans to take all five official visits (he hasn’t taken any yet) before he makes his decision.


Watch the full story here:

Lyndsey Gough

Lyndsey is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News. You can catch Lyndsey’s work on Sports Night, the only nightly show dedicated to covering everything from high school to college sports in Kentucky. She loves covering all sports but it’s the personal stories that really stand out to Lyndsey, like the story of a community coming together to remember high school track start Trinity Gay who was killed. Lyndsey came to Spectrum News from WBKO in Bowling Green where she was an Anchor, Reporter and Producer covering news and sports. She’s a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of UK. Sports Night airs at 6:30 and 10:30 weeknights on Spectrum News. If you have a story idea for Lyndsey email her at Lyndsey.gough@charter.com.

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