Ed. note: This story appears in our Fayette Game 2017 Football Preview, available now. Cook has already started his season off with a bang, deflecting 3 passes and recording in an interception in the opener of his senior season.
To be a great cornerback, you have to love a challenge. Football is a sport built to make offenses look good. With each year they make the job of the cornerback a bit harder to slow down passing attacks, so you’ve got to have the right mindset to flourish at the position. Braylyn Cook relishes that challenge. He’s cut his teeth away from the spotlight, but he’s heading for the big time. Even when he’s in his backpedal, he’s heading straight for the action.
From a Fayette County Tiger, Braylyn Cook has learned to soar with the Morehead State Eagles. There’s nowhere he’d rather be than roving the defensive backfield.
“I love the competition of it and the way the position is played,” Cook says. “You must be technically sound to be successful. Defensive backs are the most athletic players on the field.”
After he started six games as a freshman, he only started one as a sophomore. He rebounded with a breakout campaign in 2016, starting every game and leading the team in interceptions (3) and pass breakups (14), while racking up 36 tackles. For his work he was named Honorable Mention All-Pioneer Football League.
His play as a junior was good enough to start getting him some NFL Draft buzz, no small task from anyone playing on the FCS level. At 6’0″ and 183 pounds, he’s got the size to play pro ball. You know he’s got the drive too.
“I know how much more work I have to put in and what I have to do to get where I want to go.”
Before he can think about the future, he’s focused on the now with his Eagles. He wants to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors for pushing his team to the conference championship. Coming off of a 4-7 season, they’ve got their work cut out for them, but they’ll be a successful squad if they keep striving to climb that mountain.
A lot of the growing that got Cook to Morehead State was done in the Tiger Den at Fayette County High School. He still carries with him the importance of team he learned there.
“It’s always about the team and winning at the end of the day.”
His play at FCHS caught the eye of plenty of scouts, and he got looks from a number of bigger schools, but Morehead State spoke to his heart on his on-campus visit. It just had a special feeling about it. That and the gorgeous scenery.
“And it’s a place where I could really focus.”
He’s continued to build himself up.
“I’ve grown as a person. I’ve become a better person. I’ve grown closer to God.”
Going the small-school route has taught him a valuable lesson to pass along to young football players.
“Never give up on your dreams, no matter what people say,” says Cook. “Tough times never last, tough people do.”