Academics to athletics Despite injuries, Cain glad to be playin

August 17, 2004


Unlike most of his teammates, Brandon Cain didn't come to Centre College to play football.

Instead, he chose Centre because of his experience while attending the Governor's Scholars Program on campus and for the school's strong academic reputation.

"I really was not recruited to play football here," said Cain, a senior safety. "Coach (Terry) Yeast was actually recruiting me for track, but then he left. I just went ahead and committed here for academic reasons and had a lot of pressure from my mother to do that. I had been to Governor's Scholars at Centre with a friend, and liked it here. So I thought I would just come be a student."

He had played cornerback and receiver at Bellevue, a Class A school in northern Kentucky, even though he lived in Fort Thomas.


"I lived in Bellevue growing up and if I had left to play for Highlands when we moved, I would have caught a lot of stuff from my friends," Cain said. "So even though Highlands won the state titles and I was friends with a lot of their guys, I knew playing at Bellevue was right for me."

Bellevue got knocked out of the 2000 Class A playoffs by Newport Catholic, which eventually lost to Danville in the state title game. He thought that playoff loss would be his final football game.

However, during the summer before his freshman year at Centre, he got a call asking him if he would be interested in also playing football for the Colonels.

"That's when I decided to play," he said. "It's kind of funny because just about everybody else on the team probably came to Centre because of football. I don't talk about that so they won't make fun of me for not being recruited, but I guess now they will know."

Cain hopes this is his season to excel. He had worked his way into the starting lineup during preseason practice last year before a series of injuries limited him to only six games.

"I just didn't get to play that much," Cain, who had 13 tackles last year, said. "I separated my shoulder, broke a finger and tweaked my knee."

It's no wonder he felt right at home at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center during his winter term internship. He did administrative work each morning for three weeks before shadowing a different hospital employee each afternoon.

"I got to see surgery and a lot of different things. I plan to go go medical school and really enjoyed my internship," Cain, a biology major, said. "I came here with the idea of going to medical school, but my goal definitely now is to do that. I want to be a cardiologist."

He's also worked in a hospital the past two summers because of his interest in medicine as well as worked in a restaurant to earn extra spending money.

"I guess I just like being part of a team," Cain said.

He certainly learned how to deal with injuries last year. He had played sports all his life without a significant injury until he hurt his shoulder during preseason camp. However, it was the broken finger that frustrated him the most, especially after he went to see Dr. Jeremy Tarter.

"I was thinking he would put some kind of cast on it and I would be able to play immediately," Cain said. "But he put a permanent cast on it and I was out for three weeks. I had worked so hard to play and then all I could do was watch."

Cain hopes his injury problems last year will help Centre this year. He split time with Chad Loveless last year and now both have experience to help offset the loss of All-American safety John Ortega.

"Chad is one of my best friends and we split time last year when I wasn't hurt," Cain said. "He's a good player and we compliment each other well. We both have experience and that should be a big help this year without Ortega.

"I know I want to redeem myself this year for not being more help last season. Since I've been here we've had two successful seasons and one not so good. We were 9-1 my freshman year and 8-2 last year. Each year a couple of blunders kept us out of the playoffs. If we could make the playoffs this year, you would really see a lot of happy people here.

"Our goal is always to go undefeated, but if we can just win our conference outright, we will be in the playoffs. We have some big losses personnel-wise from last year, but we can fill those spots. We should not have a down year."

Cain never has a "down" time at Centre. He's active in campus organizations and is a consistent Dean's List performer in addition to being on the football team.

"A big deal is made out of how hard it is to balance athletics and academics," Cain said. "For me, athletics helps keeps my life balanced. I know what I have to do and when I have to do it. There is no time to slack off. Sometimes I wish I didn't have as much to do, but it's usually fine and for a guy that wasn't even sure he would play college football, it's all worked out very well."|None|***

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