"Up Close" with Brentley Harstad
One of the late bloomers on Florida Atlantic’s defense a year ago, redshirt-sophomore Brentley Harstad didn’t record a statistic until the sixth game of the season - an interception against Louisiana. However, the delayed start in his production didn’t prevent Harstad from going on to lead the team in overall interceptions with two.
Harstad got his first career start last year due to injuries. He made an instant impact managing a career-high eight tackles and an interception for a 15 yard return - an impressive performance for a player who concentrated on safety since his early days in high school. Finishing the season with a total of 19 tackles and a pass broken up, he started the final game of the season at Florida International and had two tackles against the rival Panthers.
Set to back up three-year starter Ed Alexander at the free safety position this upcoming fall, Harstad will look to find playing time in a reserve roll or in the nickel and dime packages, while also contributing to the special team units.
Playing against fellow FAU defensive back Tavious Polo while attending Cypress Bay High School, Harstad says he hit Polo so hard one game that the future teammate had to go to the hospital for a concussion the next day. After his senior year of football, Harstad received a scholarship offer to Northwestern, but instead decided to walk-on with the Owls.
Harstad recently sat down with us for “Up Close”.
What is your favorite food?
“Favorite food would have to be momma’s shrimp pasta.”
What is your pet peeve?
“People smacking their lips and chewing gum. I don’t really have a pet peeve but that would be it.”
Who is your current off the field role model?
“It was Sean Taylor; he will always be my role model. He’s a hard hitter free safety. I’m free safety. He’s goes out there and just lights up the fans after he makes a big hit. I was a big Miami Hurricanes fan when I was little so I always looked up to him.”
What are you most proud of?
“I’m real proud that I’m playing D-1 football and made it in college.”
What is your major?
“My major is civil engineering. I want to do some kind of design work with building buildings, something hands on. It’s about to get really tough, I have a whole bunch of classes right now like Thermodynamics in the fall. I got to be in the books when were traveling.”
What is your Faith?
“Lutheran, I go to Catholic churches too.”
Line of scrimmage
What aspect of your game do you feel is your strength?
“Defiantly hitting, knocking people out and getting the wide receivers thinking twice coming across the middle.”
What aspect of your game do you feel is your weakness?
“My man game. One on ones, I got to work on that a little bit and my footwork.”
Down the field
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
“Making it on the plane, but I know I’m going to make it on the plane. Definitely beat FIU and win the conference. ”
What game are you looking forward to the most next season?
“FIU, I got a buddy over there Jonathon Faucher, who’s their starting tight end. I always look forward to whooping him up and getting bragging rights. I know some other people over there too, but he went to my high school and graduated the same year as me. Definitely looking to play them.”
What do you want FAU fans to know about you personally?
“I’m a big fisherman. I go deep sea fishing - bass fishing. We have a boat and a house in the Keys, so I like to go down there and dolphin fish. Anyone that really knows me close knows that if I’m not doing anything I’m probably on a pier somewhere.”
Coming up, our next player is a projected starter at his respective defensive position.
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