Diamond in the Rough: Roy Brackins III

Roy Brackins III is a class of 2023 offensive lineman out of Woodlawn High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Standing at 6’3″ and weighing 290 pounds with a 3.6 GPA, the senior can bench 350 pounds run 40 yards in 5.1 seconds, and squat 510 pounds. Brackins is a guy who looks to get better through the little things, which can take him farther than almost anything. Not long ago, I had the welcome capability to speak with Brackins.

Q: Why do you play the game of football?
“I love it. I couldn’t just be a stay-at-home kid. It’s just not fun. I have to do something. [Additionally,] Football has a lot of things going on, so if I’m mad I can take it out on the football field… I’ve got something I can fall back on. And I’ve always loved the sport; it was always fun for me.”

Q: Where do you see football going in your life?
“I feel like I can make it all the way… I know what I’m capable of. As long as I stay focused and let nothing distract me, I feel like pro football can take me as far as I can go.”

Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned playing football?
“You’re going to have a lot of wins and a lot of losses, but don’t let it do nothing to you. [For example,] you mess up in a game. Don’t hinder on that. If you do hinder on that, you’re going to be thinking about that the next play. If you mess up one play, just forget about it and keep on playing. Don’t just keep on thinking about that one play. Doing that can lead to messing up multiple times.”

Q: What does football mean to you?
“It means a lot to me. It’s how I want to make my living. I love the game… it’s just something I love to do.”

Q: What challenges have you overcome?
“Probably playing all over the offensive line. This year, I’ve been playing left tackle and that is really new to me. So it really challenges me in a lot of positions, but I feel like I’m getting better each and every year.”

Q: What motivates you to keep playing?
“I can’t let my teammates down. I can’t let the team down. I know that if I just stopped playing… I just couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t see them. I wouldn’t be able to watch it. If anything bad happened, I’d feel like it would be all on me. I’m the reason why something bad happened, because I just gave up.”

Q: How do you balance sports with your other responsibilities?
“When I have homework or anything, I make sure to get it done [ASAP]. It’s all about time management and how you handle your time.If you handle your time in the right way, you will be good.”

Q: Do you have a favorite football memory?
“My favorite football memory is when we beat Catholic High School for the first time… we won 35-28. It made me feel accomplished. When we first went to Woodlawn, people said I would never beat Catholic. We proved everybody wrong. We’re doing everything everybody said we wouldn’t do.”

Q: How do you stay trained and in football-shape during the offseason?
“The way I stay trained is I never get out of shape. Since I never get out of shape, I’m always in shape. After the football season, I go out and do some running with the track team during practice. I never stop working out.”

Q: How are you looking to improve your game?
“Just getting stronger and working on the little things. I feel like most of the things I know how to do, but some of the little things I want to get better on.”

Q: On the other side, what is the strongest aspect of your game?
“I would say it’s most likely my pass protection and my IQ. I can tell some of the things that are going to happen, before they even happen. I can tell when a slot corner is about to blitz, because the safety is hovering down on the slot receiver. Just the little things… not everybody would know, but I know.”

Q: What are some goals you’ve set for yourself?
“The first goal we set [as a team] was we want to make it to the state championship. That’s our first goal. And a goal for me is to not be lazy… I wasn’t always this athletic kid that I am now. I met Coach Randall in eighth grade and I looked like none of [the other guys]. I was not the same person as I am today. They really changed my life.”

Q: Do you try to model your game after any players, pro or collegiate?
“I wouldn’t say I try to model my game after anybody, but I have people who I look up to where I like the way that they play. I have a favorite role model, but I wouldn’t say that I try to model my game. If you think about it for an offensive lineman, everybody kind of does the same thing. You can’t really model your game on one lineman when all of the offensive lineman do the same thing. [You can try and get better with certain aspects], like Trent Williams – he’s quick and moves like a skill position. You can try and. do that, but with pass protection, everybody does the same thing.”

Q: Do you consider football to be more physically challenging, mentally challenging, or a bit of both?
“I feel like for most people, it’s more of a mental thing. Your body can tell you that you can’t do this, but it’s all up in your head. If you put it in your head that you can do this, then you’ll be able to do it. But if you already made up your mind that you won’t be able to do it, then you won’t.”

Q: What is something you want your coaches to know about you, past, present, or future?
“I always come to get better every day and I’m always taking it into consideration and implementing it into my game. [That way] when they look back, they can say that they taught me that when they thought I wasn’t paying attention to that. The little things mean more than the big things.”

You can view his highlights here.

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