Kansas State landed a big-time transfer in defensive back Julius “JuJu” Brents, No. 23 in the countdown to kickoff series.
Coming from Iowa University, the former Hawkeye was a highly sought-after recruit out of high school. Rivals had Brents as a four-star player and the fourth-best player out of Indiana in his class. At 6 foot 4 inches and 204 pounds, Brents has the size of a great boundary defender.
Brents had his pick of powerhouse Midwest schools with offers from the likes of Ohio State, Michigan State, Cincinnati and Indiana. However, he ultimately picked Iowa as the place to call home. From the start, it seemed Brents made the right decision.
Brents made an immediate impact for the Hawkeyes, starting five games and playing in 11 for an Iowa team that went 9-4. Brents racked up an interception along with a slurry of pass break-ups.
While Brents was set for a big season the following year, a knee injury took him out for most of the season, forcing him to redshirt. His next season wasn’t any better, as it seemed the knee injury was still bothering him. He didn’t get much playing time because of it.
Following this past season, Brents decided to enter the transfer portal. The former highly-rated player picked K-State to continue his journey.
Some people see Brents as a gamble because of his injury history, but others realize his pure talent could give K-State a defensive weapon if he returns to his healthy self.
Assistant head coach Van Malone — who looks after the secondary — shared his excitement about bringing Brents into the program, saying Brents has already made relationships and taken a leadership role.
“When you have a transfer come in, a lot of times it takes a moment before he opens up and he has friendships within the team, and Julius hasn’t been that,” Malone said in an interview with K-State Athletics. “He’s been a guy who’s really worked hard and earned the respect of his teammates, really, before they even knew him. They respected his work and respected what he was about as a young man and as a football player.”
Brents attended Warner Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, and was a three-time first-team all-conference player. He was also named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Central Indiana high school football Super Team.
As of now, it’s still up in the air if Brents will return to prime health. However, coming in as a junior with three years of eligibility left, he has the opportunity to practice alongside standout seniors Jahron McPherson and Russ Yeast this season. Brents is majoring in communication studies.
Countdown to Kickoff: 24 days away with defensive back Trey Krause, wide receiver Xavier Gordon
The second player on today’s countdown is wide receiver Dylan White, a 6 foot 1 inch, 180-pound sophomore from Pittsburg, Kansas.
White is no stranger to success on the football field. He was named the Sports in Kansas Class 4A Offensive Player of the Year and earned first-team all-state honors his senior year from the Topeka Capital-Journal.
He was an honorable mention selection his junior year by the same publication.
During his high school career, White tallied 1,532 all-purpose yards, including 857 receiving yards on 40 catches and 18 touchdowns his senior year. He also racked up 33 catches for 690 yards and 10 scores as a junior.
White was rated a three-star athlete out of high school and was ranked the 17th best player in Kansas by 247Sports.
White received offers from North Dakota State, Illinois State, Southeast Missouri State and Western Illinois before ultimately committing to Pittsburg State.
White redshirted his first season at Pittsburg State in 2019 but played in all four games of the Gorillas’ shortened 2020 season, hauling in 10 receptions for 161 yards and two touchdowns.
He put up season-high numbers in the first game of the year against Nebraska-Kearney, tallying five catches for 105 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown. He had another four receptions with 46 yards and a 17-yard touchdown against West Texas A&M later in the season.
White transferred to K-State for the 2021 season, where he hopes to impact the program in the coming years.