The Untold Truth Of Braxton Berrios

NFL player Braxton Berrios has always been self-driven. In his teens, he had a list of goals he wanted to achieve. One of these was to win the Nike SPARQ competition in high school, which would earn him a place at The Opening, an all-star prospect camp hosted in Beaverton, Oregon. In July 2013, Berrios aced the contest with the fastest 20-yard shuttle time — 3.81 seconds — and clinched a spot in Oregon.

All along, he was paving the way for his biggest dream yet: becoming a Miami Hurricane. "My goal was always to play football at the University of Miami," he shared in a conversation with The Daily Orange. "That's what I always worked towards. When I got up on Saturday mornings, I turned on ESPN to listen to them talk about Miami." In October 2013, Berrios's lifelong dream came true when he announced that he would be joining the 'Canes. The wide receiver was amongst the top recruits of the 2014 season and went on to win a Jim Tatum Award during his senior year.

All this was a step toward accomplishing another dream: being a household name in football. Berrios got an inch closer to that goal when he joined the NFL in 2018. Since entering the league, his fan base has increased significantly. Some online fans know him for reasons other than his career or the other less-public facets of his life, so to learn more, here's the untold truth of Braxton Berrios.

Braxton Berrios idolized Ray Lewis and Devin Hester growing up

Football was a huge part of Braxton Berrios' childhood. In a March 2023 post on Instagram, Braxton shared throwback pictures of himself and his brother, Austin Berrios, donning aqua Miami Dolphins jerseys. The brothers' love for athletics came from their dad, Rico Berrios, who was a soccer player at Miami Southridge Senior High School back in the day.

Rico was also a staunch Miami Hurricanes enthusiast. When his son, Braxton, announced that he would play for the Hurricanes in 2013, he told 247 Sports at the time, "I grew up a Miami fan and I'm still a huge fan ... I told Al Golden [then-Hurricanes head coach] no matter where Braxton went, I'd still be a Miami fan."

The players Braxton looked up to as a child were also former Hurricanes, as the wide receiver shared in a chat with the New York Jets. "I'd say Ray Lewis and Devin Hester were my favorite players growing up, and obviously they happen to also be from the UM," Braxton said. Both athletes are University of Miami Hall of Famers, while Braxton was later named a National Football Foundation's National Scholar-Athlete in 2017 for his collegiate academic prowess along with his football skills.

He speaks very little Spanish despite his Puerto Rican background

Despite having roots in Miami and a love for the city's sports, Braxton Berrios actually grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. "My dad's from Miami," Berrios shared in a chat with The Palm Beach Post. "He met my mom in North Carolina. That's why I was born there and raised there." Berrios further explained that he's of Puerto Rican descent, as the Caribbean island is his grandfather's birthplace.

Although Spanish is the predominant language in Puerto Rico, and Miami is known for having a vast Spanish-speaking population, Berrios's mastery of it is minimal. Berrios told "The Official Jets Podcast" in a 2020 interview, "I took [Spanish] in school and my whole Puerto Rican side speaks it. My dad was one of the only ones who didn't ... continue the tradition. So I didn't learn it in the house or anything."

Nevertheless, the wide receiver is proud of his background. In a 2015 post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Berrios acknowledged his heritage in a shout out to his former Miami Hurricanes teammate,Jon Feliciano, who had been signed by the Oakland Raiders. Berrios wrote, "My Puerto Rican brother! Always been there to hold me up! @MongoFeliciano You deserve it all!"

He received straight As in college and was valedictorian

As a football player at the University of Miami, Braxton Berrios had several highlights. In his sophomore year, the wide receiver recorded three carries for 72 yards at the Hyundai Sun Bowl game against the Washington State Cougars, despite starting the season with an injury. Later in his senior year, he was named to the All-ACC Third Team and also received an All-ACC honorable mention for his performance

Berrios's exceptional skills weren't just limited to the field, though; He was just as outstanding in academics. He graduated as the valedictorian of the University of Miami School of Business Administration, and earned an impressive 3.96 GPA. He recorded straight As in all subjects but one: Investments and Security Markets. The flaw in his GPA ,a B+, was unsurprisingly not his own doing. A group project ultimately let him down.

Speaking about the disappointing result, which was the first of its kind for him since middle school, Berrios told The Post Game, "It's one of those things, like I said before, that you have to control what you can control. You can't force anybody else to put the effort in that you do."

His time on injured reserve allowed him to reflect

Braxton Berrios was selected by the New England Patriots as the 210th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. It goes without saying that he was over the moon to be a part of the decorated team. Berrios told CBS Miami at the time, "It's an honor. It's incredible. I mean, it's a dream come true."

However, his NFL dreams hit a wall when he was placed on injured reserve throughout his rookie year. Although the period was difficult for the wide receiver, it allowed for deep introspection. Berrios addressed the challenging phase in his interview on "The Official Jets Podcast" by saying, "Being on IR ... for an extended amount of time, you get a lot of time to kind of reflect and, you know, figure a few things out ... It's a very weird time."

In September 2019, Berrios and the New England Patriots parted ways when he was claimed off waiver by the New York Jets. In a chat with "The Adam Schefter Podcast," he discussed how being let go was a blessing in disguise. "Looking back, it's the best thing that ever happened," Berrios remarked. "It felt like the back was against the wall there." So, what kept the wide receiver going when the odds were stacked against him? Berrios attributed his resilience to an unwavering belief in himself, even when his value was underestimated by the people around him.

What he learned from the New England Patriots about winning

The New England Patriots are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers to have the most Super Bowl wins (6) in the history of the NFL, as of this writing, with the Patriots making a record 11 Super Bowl appearances. Safe to say, the team knows a lot about winning.

Although he was axed by the Patriots, Braxton Berrios left the team with major lessons on success from their former head coach, Bill Belichick. Speaking to "The Adam Schefter Podcast," Berrios explained, "Honestly, there's an absolute book that I could write over the things that I learned from coach Belichick ... but I think the one that always comes to mind, the one that sticks with me today the most — probably every day — is, in the NFL, you have to keep from losing before you can win."

The big question is, how did that theory play out practically? According to Berrios, Belichick's strategy was centered around stellar blocking. "Make sure you get your guy," Berrios advised, adding, "don't let them get the tackle." Not to say that Belichick's coaching career wasn't without its flaws; he was once caught cheating by recording another team's signals and was penalized by the league.

Braxton Berrios has a sentimental pregame routine

It's not unusual for athletes to have a couple of pregame rituals. For example, tennis star Coco Gauff swears by having a bowl of pasta before a match. She also listens to rap music, much like Braxton Berrios, whose taste in pregame music is diverse. "I'm all over the place," Berrios revealed in a chat with the New York Jets. "I'll listen to rap. I'll listen to R'n'B. I'll throw on some Ed Sheeran, you know?"

Berrios's other pregame practice is the sweetest routine — spending quality time with his loved ones. "My family will come up for the event," he shared with the Jets. "I'll see them, you know, the day before the game and then right after the game.That's my favorite thing to do after a game — to hang out with my family."

Berrios has shared some of these sweet moments with his family on social media. In October 2020, he posted an adorable photo of him and his younger brother hugging during one of his games. Likewise, Berrios's family posed alongside him in a series of late night pictures posted to Instagram in May 2021, with the partial caption, "Keep the family close."

His sense of style depends on the moment

Braxton Berrios' put-together looks are often hard to miss. On his 26th birthday, he penned a deeply felt message on Instagram, which he accompanied with a photo of his stylish black-and-white pregame ensemble. The outfit featured a Hawaiian shirt, a pair of dark sunglasses, and Berrios's signature suitcase, which somehow completed the whole look.

In a December 2022 post, Berrios looked all sorts of dapper in a two-piece checked suit, white turtleneck, and a pair of brown monk-strap shoes. His caption on the post was playfully toned: "No I can't do your taxes. Probably couldn't be your lawyer. Haven't seen the Kingsmen. And I know I'm just a hat away from channeling Peaky Blinders. Am I missing anything??"

His style, according to a conversation he had with the New York Jets, is "clean" and "sharp," but heavily dependent on his mood of the day. "To me, it's kind of whatever I want to portray in that given day or that moment, that time, is what I go after," Berrios explained. Even when he's keeping things casual, Berrios's fashion sense stands out. In a December 2023 post on Instagram, he wore his jersey over a long-sleeved shirt and paired it with black baggy pants, crowning the look with a glossy leather travel bag and a beanie.

Braxton Berrios and Sophia Culpo moved in together after two weeks

Before Braxton Berrios and Sophia Culpo became a couple in 2021, the duo often crossed paths at events. One such occasion was at Sophia's sister, Aurora Culpo's, bachelorette party, which was held in Boston back in December 2018. But the beginning of the pair's relationship was definitely fast-paced.

Sophia revealed to the "Barely Filtered" podcast, hosted by Aurora, that she packed her life and moved from Los Angeles to New Jersey to be with her then-beau. The catch? They had only been dating for two weeks. "We met January 8, started dating January 28," Sophia recalled. "We were doing like a little bit of back and forth visiting, and by the time it was Valentine's day ... we were inseparable."

Sophia's move was also influenced by her living situation at the time. She and her sister, Olivia Culpo, were roommates, and their sometimes-hostile sibling relationship got in the way of peaceful coexistence. "You know me and Olivia's dynamic. Like, she could be so mean to me sometimes," Sophia continued. "I was like, 'This isn't healthy for me,' and then I find someone who's like, warm to me." Since the couple didn't make it (details on this next), Sophia swore that she would never traverse the country for another love interest after such a short time.

His breakup with Sophia Culpo had 'nothing to do with anybody else'

Sophia Culpo and Braxton Berrios had a messy breakup. In an April 2023 post made by Culpo on her Instagram Stories, the reality television star claimed there was a breach of trust between her and Berrios. When she appeared on the "Barely Filtered" podcast months later, Sophia said that Berrios had been unfaithful with many partners, including TikTok star Alix Earle.

Per her version of events, she got to know about his disloyalty through her sister, Olivia Culpo. Olivia attended the same Super Bowl party with the wide receiver early that year, where she witnessed the alleged infidelity, which she relayed to Sophia. "Olivia calls me at 6 in the morning," Sophia narrated. "And she's like 'I'm so sorry, like, I want you to hear this from me, like, he's cheating on you.'"

Berrios, on the other end, refuted claims that there was a third party involved in their separation. In a series of clips posted to his Instagram Stories in June 2023, he alleged that their separation was amicable. "I was in a relationship for two years. It was a good relationship," he said. "It was a healthy one. And towards the end of it, we had conversations along the lines of we just weren't working out. So, when we split back in January ... It had nothing to do with anybody else for that matter."

How he got the nickname 'NFL Man'

Alix Earle and Braxton Berrios first sparked dating rumors in March 2023 when an anonymous source claimed they were seen getting all mushy at a Gatsby party. In May of that year, a video of a fan meeting Earle at a restaurant surfaced, and Berrios was seen next to her. That sighting further fueled rumors that something was brewing between the two. The pair later made an appearance at a Miami Heat game together in June.

Soon enough, Berrios was simply known as "NFL Man" when Earle discussed their developing relationship on her "Hot Mess with Alix Earle" podcast, which she started in September 2023. Surprisingly, he had no idea that "NFL Man" would be his moniker. He first learned of the tag when he was listening to the first episode of Earle's podcast before it went on air.

"She didn't tell me what my nickname was," Berrios shared during the couple's unveiling of "NFL Man" on the podcast. "She had prefaced like a week before saying that she had to give me a nickname, and so we rattled a few off, not one was 'NFL Man' ... We were listening to [the podcast episode] and she dropped 'NFL Man.'" Earle chimed in and said the nickname popped up out of the blue.

Braxton Berrios and Alix Earle are selectively private

Although some celebrities choose to keep their entire personal lives private, the same cannot be said for Braxton Berrios and Alix Earle. Earle made her debut on Braxton Berrios' Instagram account in September 2023. In the cute picture, Berrios and the podcast host, who wore his football jersey, were locked in a light embrace as they looked into each other's eyes.

Since then, the lovebirds have been pretty open about different aspects of their relationship. On a December 2023 episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks," Berrios told his Miami Dolphins teammate, Tua Tagovailoa, about that the excruciating pain from when Earle would tweeze his eyebrows before bedtime. The social media star, in fact, shared a video of herself working on Berrios's eyebrows on TikTok, and the NFL wide receiver ended up crying.

There's a reason why Earle is so popular on the platform, and it's partly because she posts details about her wildly lavish life in order to own her story. She told "The Kelly Clarkson Show," "The reason I feel comfortable with, like, sharing my life online, is just that, I feel like I'm kinda directing the narrative of it." Although it seems like the couple is an open book, fans may be surprised that some bits of their lives don't make it online. In an interview with the New York Post, Berrios said of his girlfriend, "She comes to my games and there's behind the scenes stuff that she doesn't post."