De Braga cleared to play
September 19, 2013
Frank de Braga hasn't been able to do much on the gridiron since his brothers graduated.
After playing his freshman season with his brothers, Trent and Trevor, at Colorado Mesa, the youngest de Braga has been sidelined since last month when he tore his vastus medialis oblique (VMO), which is part of the thigh muscle near the kneecap.
The good news, though, is that de Braga was cleared this week and will return to the field on Monday for the Division II Mavericks as they host Black Hills State next week. Colorado Mesa dropped its first game of the year last week when it was shut out by No. 3 Montana State of the FCS.
"He's been rehabbing, and kind of getting it going. If we can get him going, he'll be ready to roll," Mavs coach Russ Martin said.
In his first year, de Braga played mostly on special teams but once he gets suited up for action, he'll play a key part in the defense as one of the safeties.
"He's going to have a very good college career for us. He comes from a great family," Martin said.
De Braga's brothers stole the show last year with Trent being one of the conference's best returners and defensive backs while Trevor was a steady force on defense.
Frank de Braga, though, said his second year in Colorado has felt different being the only one from the family still in college. The biggest absence from playing with them has been their critique and advice to becoming a better player.
"With the brothers no longer here, it definitely is different just because it was such a fun experience having them on the team and watching them through the season," he said. "I'm used to it now and have adjusted well. I think the biggest thing I had to get over was having them tell me when I am messing up and how to fix it. Not only were they great brothers but they were great teammates, coaches and friends, as well."
Trent de Braga played in an all-star game after the season and was trying to get looked by professional organizations, but instead enrolled into UNLV's law school program. Trevor de Braga, though, returned home to help the family with the farm and now coaches defensive backs on the Greenwave football team.
Martin was pleased to experience having both Trevor and Trent together for three seasons and the addition of Frank last year made it more unique.
"They grew up as competitive young men," Martin said. "They were each other's strongest supporters as well, which you love as a coach. They pushed each other and liked to do better than the other. They're a very tight family. They had some brotherly rivalry and were each other's strongest supporters."