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Niles Brinkley

| | College: Wisconsin
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Brinkley was part of a talented defensive backfield at Wisconsin and had a productive career playing cornerback for the Badgers despite not becoming a full-time starter until his senior year -- a season after which he was named honorable mention All-Big Ten by league coaches.

After starting his career in Madison as a receiver, Brinkley moved to cornerback during his redshirt freshman year, mostly seeing action in five games on special teams. He started seven games as a sophomore, making 40 tackles, intercepting four passes and breaking up nine others. Brinkley started the last six games of his junior season, making 38 tackles with two interceptions and four pass breakups.

In his first year as a full-time starter in 2010, he led the team in pass breakups with nine, and added a career-high 49 tackles and one forced fumble.

Brinkley earned enough respect from scouts for his play to earn a Combine invite, but has been maddeningly inconsistent during his career, making a big play then giving up a long gain soon after. He possesses enough athleticism and upside, however, to become a solid reserve NFL defender and special teams contributor if his technique improves.


Strengths: Good overall athleticism, displays nice quickness and acceleration in coverage. Keeps the receiver in front of him and uses his frame to shield his man from the ball on deep passes. Generally times contact with the receiver well, making contact to prevent the catch. Locates the ball well in the air, can make the interception or knock away passes without interfering. Willing to lay the big hit on receivers. Disguises his blitzes well. Active before the snap and will disguise whether or not he is going to press. Strong wrap-up tackler. Breaks down well in space, and avoids cut blocks to stay in the play.

Weaknesses: Only adequate straight-line or recovery speed, can be beat in trail coverage or on double moves. Not aggressive jamming at the line, and is predictable with press coverage techniques. Looks a step slow in reaction to receiver breaks, screen passes and red-zone awareness. Not very physical, plays on his heels and gets pushed around easily. Occasionally gets too aggressive, drawing penalties. Struggles to shed wide receiver blocks. Often tackles high, will be thrown aside against stronger NFL ballcarriers. Missed time in 2009 and spring 2010 with lingering hamstring issues.

--Jackson Boyd

2010 Season

Honorable mention All-Big Ten (coaches) … Jay Seiler Coaches' Appreciation Award (Defense) … Led team in pass breakups and tied for second in passes defended … recorded two tackles against TCU in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 … broke up one pass and had six tackles against Northwestern on Nov. 27 … made four tackles and had one pass breakup at Michigan on Nov. 20 … broke up one pass and made two tackles against Indiana on Nov. 13 … posted four tackles at Purdue on Nov. 6 … matched career high with eight tackles at Iowa on Oct. 23 … broke up two passes and had three tackles in win over No. 1 Ohio State on Oct. 16 … made one tackle against Minnesota on Oct. 9 … career-high eight tackles with a pass breakup and a forced fumble at Michigan State on Oct. 2 … started at cornerback against Austin Peay on Sept. 25 … posted six tackles and two pass breakups against Arizona State on Sept. 18 … recorded four tackles and broke up one pass against San Jose State on Sept. 11 … started at cornerback at UNLV on Sept. 4.

2009 Season

Earned third letter … played in 12 of 13 games, starting six … tied for second on team in interceptions (two) and tied for third in pass breakups (four) and passes defended (six) … team-high six tackles against Miami in Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 29 … collected three tackles against Hawaii on Dec. 5 … broke up one pass and had two tackles against Northwestern on Nov. 21 … intercepted a pass and had three tackles against Michigan on Nov. 14 … made first start of season and had four tackles against Purdue on Oct. 31 … posted five tackles against Iowa on Oct. 17 … broke up two passes against Minnesota on Oct. 3 … recorded four tackles against Michigan State on Sept. 26 … tied a career-high with seven tackles, including 1.0 TFL, and intercepted the fifth pass of his career against Fresno State on Sept. 12.

2008 Season

Earned second letter … played in all 13 games, starting seven … team-best four interceptions for 66 yards (long of 47 yards) … tied for fifth in Big Ten with 13 passes defended and with four interceptions … tied for eighth on team with 40 tackles (31 solo, nine assisted) … two stops and two pass breakups against Cal Poly on Nov. 22 … two tackles and an interception against Minnesota on Nov. 15 … five tackles and four pass breakups at Indiana on Nov. 8 … four stops and one pass breakup at Michigan State on Nov. 1 … career-high seven tackles, including a half TFL and grabbed his third interception of the season against Illinois on Oct. 25 … three tackles and a pass breakup at Iowa on Oct. 18 … three tackles, including 0.5 for loss against Ohio State on Oct. 4 … named ESPN.com's Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and UW's co-defensive player of the week after recording his first and second career interceptions against Marshall on Sept. 6 … also had three tackles against the Herd … recorded five tackles against Akron on Aug. 30 … also saw action on kickoff, kick return and punt return units.

2007 Season

Earned first letter … played in five games … played on special teams and briefly at DB in upset win over 13th-ranked Michigan on Nov. 10 … appeared at DB late in win over Indiana on Oct. 27 … saw first action of career on special teams vs. Washington State on Sept. 1.

2006 Season

Redshirted as wide receiver … named UW scout team offensive player of the week for Northwestern game.

High School

PrepStar all-region selection … among top 70 cornerbacks nationally according to Scout.com … all-conference selection as a senior after earning all-Metro (St. Louis) acclaim as both a junior and sophomore … missed five games his senior year due to injury … made 15 catches for 210 yards as senior … named team's MVP as sophomore when he registered 52 receptions for 930 yards … lettered four times in football and three times in track … four-year honor roll student … football coach was his brother, Lorenzo Brinkley Jr.


Parents are Lorenzo and Theresa Brinkley … father, Lorenzo Brinkley Sr., played football at Missouri and for the Pittsburgh Steelers … brother, Lorenzo Brinkley Jr., was a linebacker at Nebraska … major is life sciences communication.

Latest News
12/04/2010 - 2010 ALL-BIG TEN CONFERENCE FOOTBALL HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): Niles Brinkley, Wisconsin, has been selected All-Big Ten Honorable Mention for the 2010 college football season as selected by the Big Ten coaches. - Big Ten football

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