Bond of brothers
Trio of deBraga brothers shoring up Mesa secondary
There was never a question where Frank deBraga wanted to go to college.
All he needed to know was whether the new football coaching staff at Colorado Mesa University was interested in him.
The freshman defensive back wanted an opportunity to play with his brothers Trevor and Trent again.
“It’s a blessing,” Frank de-Braga said. “Once I found out I could have the opportunity to play with them, I was pretty much sold.”
Frank, who is living with his brothers off-campus, is getting an opportunity to play on special teams and as a backup to his brothers.
CMU coach Russ Martin said he planned to redshirt the freshman, but lack of depth in the secondary necessitated playing him this year.
“He’s a younger model of the other two,” Martin said. “Honestly, when we recruited him, I don’t know if it was Trevor or Trent, it might have been both of them, that said Frank was the best athlete of them. It’s great when the older brothers think of a younger brother in that fashion.
“It’s great to have a young man with his character and ability that’s able to step in and give us depth in that situation.”
Trent, 21, came to Mesa in 2009 despite interest from some NCAA Division I Football Championship Series (FCS) schools, but by the time he sent videotapes out, those schools were out of scholarship money.
Mesa was still interested and had scholarship dollars available.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Trent said. “Coming here has been a blessing. I couldn’t picture myself being anywhere else — from the teammates, coaching staffs — and all the people I’ve met here have been amazing.”
He played immediately as a freshman and led the team in kickoff returns.
The next year, Trevor, 22, transferred to Mesa from the University of Sioux Falls.
Trevor went to Sioux Falls, S.D., originally on a baseball scholarship. He redshirted his first year and planned to play football, but he realized something was missing.
“Once my brother came here and told me how much he liked it, I thought maybe I should be closer to home and transfer here,” Trevor said. “We’re really family oriented. We were best friends growing up. That has a lot to do with growing up on a farm.”
Trent added, “We looked at it from the perspective that not everybody gets an opportunity to play with their brothers. It’s something special. It’s nice because our parents never have to worry about going to separate places.”
Besides playing football with Trent again, Trevor said he’s getting an opportunity to be on the field with Frank for the first time. Frank was in middle school when Trevor was a senior in high school.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Trevor said.
All three of them are seeing action on the field.
Trent earned his way into the starting lineup at free safety and has received several accolades along the way. He is a Capital One Academic All-American and All-RMAC kick returner and safety.
Trevor quickly found time on the field next to his brother, starting seven games last season at strong safety. He is listed as an outside linebacker this season, but he serves as an extra defensive back on the field.
They are both defensive captains this season.
“They are quality individuals and very good leaders,” Martin said. “Both of them have tremendous experience in the secondary. They are able to make calls and communicate things to guys.”
Frank primarily is playing special teams, but he sees some time in a backup role at strong safety.
“I’m going to do everything in my power to make the team better,” Frank said. “That’s how you look at it.
“My brothers have always been there for me. If I have any questions, I’m never afraid to ask. I’ve always relied on them and looked up to them.”