Skip to main content

Colts CB JuJu Brents taking nothing for granted during OTAs

Brents appeared in nine games as a rookie with one interception, five pass break-ups and one forced fumble.

The way 2023 ended still sticks with Colts cornerback JuJu Brents. And every time he's thought about it, that feeling has breathed oxygen to the fire with which he's entering 2024.

"It started in January," Brents said. "As soon as the season ended, it was that taste in my mouth – like, I don't want to feel that again."

After working his way back from a hand injury that pre-dated the 2023 NFL Draft, Brents missed time at the beginning of training camp and the end of the preseason with a hamstring injury. He made his NFL debut in Week 3, picked off his first pass in Week 6 and then was sidelined for six games with a quad injury sustained in Week 7.

Brents fought his way back from that injury to start the Colts' final four games, but exited Week 18's loss to the Houston Texans in the third quarter with a hamstring injury.

Being unable to help on some of the biggest plays of the 2023 season – that's what's stuck with Brents. And, as the Colts' offseason program hit OTAs last week, the end of last season – both personally and for his team – is still motivating the 2023 second-round pick.

"Last year, the way it ended lit a fire in me because I wasn't able to finish," Brents said. "Knowing how hard I did work to come back from my injury and try to stay healthy and then go out with another injury was tough. For me this offseason, just the way I've been working making sure I'm on top of my game off the field so I can be out there and be available for this team. That's the big thing for me so internally man just holding myself accountable for every little thing it is that I do. I don't want to let my team down. I feel like last year not being able to finish was tough for me."

Off the field, a focus for Brents this offseason is an intentional, "strict" diet plan cultivated with Colts team dietician Leigh Hullett. On the field, Brents has operated with a sense of urgency, understanding every second of practice will count this coming fall.

"These reps right now in the spring are very vital for me," Brents said. "I don't take them for granted at all. Last year, I just remember that feeling of like, damn, I want to be out there with my guys. Now being out there I'm taking full advantage of them. Treat them like a game rep every single time I'm out there. It's big, having a full offseason under my belt and carrying on to camp and to the season."

The upside the Colts saw last spring in the lengthy 6-foot-3 Brents led to a handful of standout moments during his rookie season, like his three-PBU game in Week 17 against the Las Vegas Raiders. An offseason in which the Colts only added a pair of Day 3 draft picks (Jaylin Simpson, Micah Abraham) to their cornerback room only reinforced the trust the team has in Brents, Jaylon Jones and Dallis Flowers.

And Brents isn't taking the opportunity ahead of him for granted, nor is he forgetting the feeling he had as his rookie year came to an end, as he trains his focus toward the 2024 season.

"The type of mentality I have, I want to be the best," Brents said. "So I try to carry myself that way, being a young vet, just being thrown into the fire, I appreciate it."

Related Content

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Our 2024 schedule is set! Secure your seats to all home games at Lucas Oil Stadium now.