COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Jasper Brinkley’s knee had hurt for months. Now, his heart did, too.
It was December and South Carolina’s injured all-Southeastern Conference linebacker learned his friend and mentor, defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix, was off to join Mississippi. It was too much to bear, and Brinkley planned to leave as well.
Calm down, Nix counseled, rehab your injury, finish what you began and play like the terror you were before you got hurt. Turns out Nix’s words were perhaps the best advice Brinkley had ever received.
“I’m part of a number one defense right now,” Brinkley said with pride. “It’s something I’ve never been part of, so pretty much everything’s followed through.”