In this week’s exclusive, we caught up with the Ravens’ new Cornerback, Brandin Boykin on his big move and to find out why he loves the NFL so much.
There’s only one place to start, you’ve had a busy week! just signed with Baltimore, congrats, excited to get going now?
Yes it’s been a pretty crazy week, I signed Monday and it’s been extremely fast. I am trusting God and am used to the way that NFL business works. This is my sixth year, so I am prepared for it. Last year, I was on injury reserve the whole year and you are on the side line just watching the game. When this year came around I had been waiting for the right opportunity to present itself, that was the toughest part. Just waiting and the NFL is all about being in the right situation at the right time.
I am extremely grateful to be able to come somewhere and play, I continued to just have a positive attitude this entire time and just control what I could control.
How frustrating has this in-between period been, was free time nice or was it about staying football-focused?
It was kind of weird, in my football career I have never missed a game, let alone a whole season, and that dates back to high school and college. I have been playing football for ten, eleven years now and last year was a weird feeling for me because I had never experienced that much down time as an athlete. I didn’t really know what to do with my time but I think through out that period my faith and my understanding of my purpose and platform was given way more clarity. I was able to just be still and think about things. That down time was really helpful for me but it also was major growth as an individual.
I was just like, God what is going on, I went from having extreme success to some adversity and the lesson to me was just to trust him and be patient. That is something that I have struggled with in the past, I want to move on my own time but God had put me in a situation where I couldn’t control anything. He wants me to trust that he has plans for me to prosper, not to harm me. Those are the things that I would tell myself every day. No matter what adversity I have faced in my life, he has always come through, he’s never let me down.
— Brandon Boykin (@BrandonBoykin2) June 5, 2017
You’re well established as a player in the league now, what’s the best thing about playing in the NFL?
Early on, as a young guy it’s being able to play against people that you saw on TV. For me now it’s just understanding what the NFL means to other people, outside of the uniform we are just regular people, if you give advice to someone, they are going to listen to you because of the platform that you have. For me, how passionate I am about my faith, what better way is there to expose Jesus to everybody, by using my platform. My purpose is to be representative of Christ, now that is my sole purpose and now as a veteran, having been on different teams, you realise that nothing is guaranteed, it is a blessing to be in this league.
Who is the best player that you have ever played against?
Growing up, I lived in Atlanta Georgia and Michael Vick was the quarterback for the Falcons, I idolised him, so once I got drafted to the NFL being able to play with one of my childhood idols was amazing. I then got to play with him again at Pittsburgh. From a wide receiver’s standpoint, I’d say AJ Green, we went to college together so I have been playing against him for a very long time. He gets better every year.
How did you come to know Jesus for yourself?
I grew up in church, but as a kid you don’t really understand what it all means or represents. As an athlete you always want to have accolades and success, but I was asking myself is this it? Trophies and people cheering you on, there’s got to be more, there’s got to be a bigger purpose. So that’s when I looked into my faith more seriously and knew it, deep in my heart.
Is it tough to follow Jesus whilst handling the popularity, money and media scrutiny?
Absolutely, it’s tough. You’ve got things pulling you every which way. The money, the fame and all f those types of things just add to the pot of what could really deter you from what you want to be doing. I think it is based on the individual, on your support system and depends on the people that you put yourself around. For me, I don’t always have a tonne of people around me, the older I’ve got, the less people I want around me.
Some people would say, Brandon you’ve got a contract, money, success, why do you need God? What would you say to that?
Those things are not fulfilling, those things won’t give you happiness, it will be temporary happiness and there will always be this void that you are trying to fill. I’ve really met people who have everything and they are the unhappiest people in the world. It shows how much we need Jesus, at some point we are all going to be done playing football and if that’s all your identity is, then you’re going to be lost.
What does your ‘God time’ look like on a match day? Any routines?
I wake up and have a daily devotional, then before every game I listen to this song and I never tell anyone what the song is. But I listen to it right before I take the field for the game, I’ve been doing that since I got into the league. That’s my routine, we pray together, the chaplain will pray for the team, but I take my couple of minutes and have my alone time, talk to God and visualise what I want to happen in the game.
What advice would you give to young players out there who want to be the next Brandon Boykin?
I’d tell them that the reality is, life will throw punches and try to take you out every single day. It’s super important to have a strong foundation in Christ and to have confidence in yourself. Everyone will be loving you when things are going good but you will really find out who is in your corner when your name isn’t on TV. Don’t base your foundation on the world, base it on Christ.