Better Know A Freshman: Jeryl Brazil - The Purple & Gold Bullet

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Heads up Trindon Holliday, someone might be just as fast as you and he could play several positions in Death Valley

To take a word from one of my favorite "This Is SportsCenter" commercials, Brazil's speed can be described as incendiary. Collecting SEVEN track and field state titles throughout his high school career at Loranger High School, it was evident that this kid could fly. Just because you are one of the fastest athletes in the state doesn't necessarily mean that is going to translate to success on the field.

While he is listed on LSU's page as a defensive back, you better believe that offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is trying to find ways to sneak him on the field for a feel offensive plays to have that speed and play-making ability with the ball in Brazil's hands. He will become a household name in the return game once Odell Beckham Jr. leaves LSU, using that speed and agility in yet another facet of the game.

Background

Brazil came from Loranger High School, a school not really known for shelling out Division I athletes, but it doesn't take much for someone to get noticed on the field with the track credentials that Brazil put together during his time there. With his eyes set on state titles and records, Brazil quickly made his mark finishing in 6th in the 100 and 200-meter races as a freshman. Those finishes only got better as he got older as evidenced by the SEVEN state titles he won that I mentioned up in the first paragraph.

As a football player, Brazil was invited to play in the Under Armor All-American Game, was a composite four-star athlete and was constantly ranked around the top 5 recruits in the state of Louisiana. Like with most high schools across the nation, coaches will normally put their best athlete at quarterback in order to put the ball in their hands as often as possible. With that comes the trouble of fully scouting someone like Brazil on the defensive side of the ball.

Jeryl wasted zero time in letting his love be known for LSU when he was the FIRST commit of the 2013 class way back on August 1st of 2011. He had a brief falling out in January of 2012 where he hinted he was looking at other schools, but that didn't last long and he was once again committed back to LSU.

What I See On Film

2013 ATH Jeryl Brazil 2012 Season Highlights (via Prep1Force)


The first thing that is evident of his film is that speed is showcased throughout. To answer your question, no, the film is not being fast-forwarded. Brazil is really that fast. The problem with his film is that his LSU position of cornerback is not too prominently featured since that was the least of his worries for his high school team.

What I can gather is that he will definitely have the speed to keep up with any wide receiver that lines up across him, SEC speed or not. In the brief moments that are shown in the footage, he has good ball skills, is able to locate the ball in the air and has good timing on his jumps to make up for his relatively small stature. With the ball in his hands following an interception, he will always have that opportunity to...Trick Daddy help me out, Take It To Da House, every chance he gets.

This brings me to one of the question marks I have on him and that is his size. While the LSU site has him listed at 5'10" I would have to say he is more like 5'9". And I know I'm going to get the, "Yeah, but Mathieu was short and look what he did." LSU fans are going to need to come to the realization quickly that we may not see another player like Mathieu. Brazil will likely play that nickel back role judging by all of the bigger cornerbacks LSU is bringing in to man the outside receivers, but he will likely be more of an actual cornerback than an all-out playmaker like Mathieu was. Not saying there is anything wrong with that, but the presumption that every fast, shorter defensive back that comes to LSU is going to be the next Mathieu needs to come to an end.

The other issue that will come with Brazil isn't something that is his fault, but he will definitely be raw when it comes to technique. This is SEC football we are talking about, where it is not just size or speed but a combination of the two. This is the conference where the last SEVEN national titles were won, so coaches are required to have the top talent at every position if they want to stay afloat in this powerhouse of a conference. Brazil will need time to learn the finer points of being a cornerback if he in fact stays there during his time at LSU, but I do feel like he can learn what is taught to him. It becomes a matter of being able to deal with the talent on the other side of the ball that he will face week in and week out

In short,

What I Like: The incendiary speed, playmaking ability, jump timing

That's The S*** I Don't Like: Small frame, raw in terms of a cornerback

Put Me In Coach

The odds of seeing Brazil in on the defensive side of the ball are very slim this year. He has a lot to learn, there is a lot of talent in front of him, and with a tough schedule, there won't be much time for him to get a chance to get his feet wet. It will be a matter of how quickly he can learn the techniques and finer points of being an SEC cornerback that will determine how quickly he sees the field in the secondary.

Will he redshirt? I don't think so. While he wasn't listed on the depth chart anywhere, I could see him get some return opportunities if Odell Beckham Jr. goes down with an injury. I know Jarvis Landry is listed second on punt returner, but Brazil will have the better shot at changing the game with his returns while Landry will be the sure-handed guy back there. Also, new offensive coordinator may be inclined to see if he can't draw up some plays utilizing that speed of Brazil, like LSU did when Trindon Holliday was around.

In Conclusion

I find him guilty of being blazing fast your honor. Sorry, law courses getting back in my head. Brazil is at least a year away from making a solid contribution to this team, but that still doesn't mean he won't be used at all this year. The speed and playmaking ability will always be in the back of the coaches' minds and they will be thinking of ways to use it *cough* trick play against Bama *cough*. Either way, I don't see him ever being considered a waste of a scholarship because that speed will always keep him on the field one way or another.

So watch out Steve Smith, Stuart Scott may be doing a new commercial with Jeryl Brazil when all is said and done.

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