Brandin Echols has always been a top-flight athlete. His football journey has just taken a while for that to show through.
After making a pitstop at junior college after high school, Echols enrolled at Kentucky and became a two-year starter for the Wildcats. While on campus, the cornerback produced immediately. The Mississippi native recorded 108 tackles and 11 pass breakups in 24 games. However, the cornerback didn’t get an interception until his final collegiate game.
That lack of ball production hurt his draft stock, but then the pro day arrived. Echols surprised many with some monster testing numbers that got the defensive back on the draft radar.
“I think it did open a lot of eyes because I was probably going to go undrafted,” Echols told the media about his pro day performance on Saturday after the draft. “So I knew I had to make a big impact at my pro day.”
That pro day provided some proof that the prospect is a legitimate player. Echols had a long winding road that included a stop in junior college. There was no guarantee that the defensive back would even make it to major college football.
“Going to JUCO, you don’t know how many of you is going to make it out,” Echols told reporters. “JUCO, it prepares your mind mentally and physically to be ready to always compete at the highest level. It brought me to the SEC with this god-given ability to be able to transfer over to DB and do what I do best.”
Echols did his best in college, and that has created an opportunity at the next level. The Jets need some serious secondary help and a starter at slot cornerback under a new coaching staff. Echols can compete for that spot due to the athletic traits he is bringing to this new organization.
“The strength of my game is my physicality, my speed, my football IQ,” said Echols.