Diamond in the Rough: Dakyus (Dak) Brinkley

Dakyus (Dak) Brinkley is a class of 2024 edge rushing currently playing for Katy High School in Katy, TX. Standing at 6’3” 220 lbs, Dak has been dominate at his roll for his team the last couple of years. This four star recruit last season racked up a stat line of 47 tackles, eight TFLs, two sacks, one pass breakup, and one fumble recover that he took to the house. This year, the speedy edge rusher looks to improve his numbers while also preparing himself for next year when he’s playing with the Kansas Jayhawks. I had a chance to talk to Dak recently and had the opportunity to ask him about his past, present, and future of his football career.

Q: When did you start playing football?

“I would say I started playing around six or seven.”

Q: When did you realize that football was a big passion for your life?

“I had a shoulder injury my eight-grade year that ended my eighth-grade season. My ninth-grade year is when I really got into it (football) and I just wanted to prove myself wrong by saying that I can do better than I was and be happier because I don’t know the next time I won’t be able to put on a helmet.”

Q: What would you say your biggest strength is?

“My biggest strength on the field is my speed for sure. My speed and that I’m also a very versatile player, so I can play pretty much any position a coach will want me to play.”

Q: What are your personal goals for the season?

“My personal goals are to be better than I was last year. It’s nothing stat wise. Just being better than I was last year. I am not chasing my stats. I just want to be a better overall player than I was last year.”

Q: Are there any aspects of your game that you have worked on this past offseason? Or what is your training look like in the offseason?

“I’ve been doing lots of training this offseason, you know. I’ve been doing endurance training, speed training, and a bunch of training really that helps my endurance and helps me get off the ball faster and the weight room, of course, that’s a need. My main training has been strength and condition and I would do endurance on the side.”

Q: Are there any current or past NFL that you like to study their film or maybe model your game after?

“I really look at John Abraham, he played for the Falcons and Cardinals. I really like how he uses his moves on the edge. My current play that I look up to is Haason Reddick on the eagles. I really love to watch his film.”

Q: Do you have a favorite football memory?

“My favorite football memory is going to my first NFL game, and of course my dad is playing, and this is when I want to say it made me so in love with football. I was a young child, around seven or eight. I went the first NFL game playing Brett Favre, Green Bay Packer versus the Vikings 2009 or 2010. The Vikings had Brett Favre, that when the Packers had just gotten Aaron Rogers. It was a big rivalry. The stadium was just super loud, and the Viking would do their chants when they score. It was a bunch of little things that made me fall in love with it. Watching from a fan’s perspective, it was very amazing to me, very appeasing, it made me feel excitement. I would say at that moment on is actually when I fell in love with the game. Seeing my dad playing, especially since he is my biggest role model.”
Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley (Dak’s father) stands on the sidelines (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Q: What made you want to commit to Kansas?

“What made me want to commit to Kansas was the love, and connection I had with the coaches. It was nonstop and they wanted to push for me as well as that I only took two official visits this summer. One with SMU and one with Kansas, so I just went to where I was feeling the love at. Kansas was the best fit for me.”

Q: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from playing football?

“My biggest lesson I’ve learned in football is to never give up for sure. That’s one of the things they preach at my current high school that I’m at. Never give up, always get back up, if you get knocked down always get back up, we’re always fighting back, the game isn’t over until the clock hits zero. Mainly to never give up.”