Julius Brents was watching Day 2 of the NFL Draft with friends and family at Birdies in Westfield when a with a 317 number flashed across his phone.
"I was just praying nobody was prank calling me," Brents said.
It wasn't a prank – it was his hometown Colts on the other line, telling Brents they were taking him with the 44th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
"Being a Colts fan my whole life, growing up watching – Peyton Manning was my favorite player growing up with Bob Sanders," Brents said. "Now, just being able to put on that same Horseshoe man, it's nothing short of a blessing. It's crazy, but I know this is just the start of the journey. I'm just ready to get to work man."
Brents will get to work as part of the Colts' secondary where his remarkable length (a near 83-inch wingspan) and athleticism (he recorded a 41.5-inch vertical leap at the NFL Combine) will slide into a group featuring guys like Kenny Moore II, Isaiah Rodgers Sr., Dallis Flowers, Rodney Thomas II, Julian Blackmon and Nick Cross, among others. The Warren Central alum played his college ball at Iowa (2018-2020) and Kansas State (2021-2022), and recorded six interceptions and 10 pass break-ups over 46 games (32 starts).
In 2022, Brents allowed just a 55.6 passer rating when targeted in coverage, per Pro Football Focus.
"The talent that God has blessed me with, with my length and things of that nature, being able to use that to my advantage, get hands on guys, deter the route, throw off the timing, things of that nature," Brents said. "I would say just my smarts. I'm a smart football player. I'm real intentional how I attack the game. I don't go into it blind. Make sure I have a strict plan where regardless if it's taking care of my body or how I want to go about the process of watching film. So, continue to keep improving in that area but man, just having those different tangibles and then being able to tie it together with the football smarts, I feel like I'm a perfect fit for this team."
Brents – who goes by the nickname "Juju" as well – feels like he has the versatility to succeed in whatever defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and defensive backs coach Ron Milus' vision for him is.
"Definitely you know, the length, having that outside, being able to disrupt guys, get hands on people and being able to have that versatility as well to switch it up," Brents said. "If you need me for that press corner, 100 percent can do that. If you need me to be that guy where I need to be a little bit more zone coverage, having eyes on the quarterback and making a play on the ball, 100 percent. So, definitely the versatility and just my physical attributes. There's a lot to my game. I'm just looking forward to being able to showcase it."
View photos of Kansas State CB Julius Brents, selected 44 overall by the Indianapolis Colts.