• Brian L. Barefield

Consistency Is The Key:Undrafted defensive back Derrick Baity looks to keep doing what got him here.

Webster defines the word consistency as, steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc. It means that an action or behavior is repeated over and over again usually ending in the same result. Texans undrafted rookie cornerback Derrick Baity Jr. should have that word tattooed on his body somewhere as he is the walking example of the word. And if you know Derrick, then you know he loves tattoos.

Baity was a four-year letterman at the University of Kentucky and never missed one game at his defensive back position. His impact was felt immediately his freshman year as the skinny kid from Tampa, Florida impressed his coaches with his work ethic and willingness to do whatever needed to be done to help his team improve.

“I didn’t start cornerback until my sixth game into the season, but I was on all the special teams and once I got in it was a wrap,” said Baity.

Consistency wasn’t always a word used in his vocabulary. After starting every game his sophomore and junior season and being a key contributor to helping the University of Kentucky have its first winning season since 2009, he could tell that he wasn’t as consistent in his approach to the game as he had been before. That led him to have a life-changing conversation with his defensive backs coach Steven Clinkscale about what he wanted his legacy to be once he left the University of Kentucky.

“You had a great sophomore season, then you took a step back your junior season. That’s inconsistent,” Baity told in April. “We came up with some little solutions. I stopped talking so much during practice as far as trash talk was concerned.”

That small bit of advice helped him take his game to a new level going into his senior year. UK had its most successful season in over 40 years and Baity was an intricate part of that success. The tall (6’2) and very athletic cornerback locked up wide receivers to the tune of 22 catches for 196 and only allowed one touchdown for the season. He was on a defensive unit that consisted of NFL draft picks DE Josh Allen #7 (Jacksonville), S Mike Edwards #35 (Tampa Bay), and future potential teammate CB Lonnie Johnson Jr. (Texans).

Baity takes pride in the fact that college quarterbacks were afraid to throw against him and Johnson, as the two combined for only two interceptions last year. During his introductory phone interview with the media, Johnson said that most quarterbacks would shy away from throwing against the two big cornerbacks. Baity echoed those same sentiments when I quoted him what Johnson said.

“We were standing in at 6’2 and 6’3,” said Baity who ended his college career with 25 pass deflections. “It was hard for them to throw it, especially this past season with the pass rush of Josh Allen so it was hard to get some action.”

After not hearing his name called during the 2019 NFL Draft, Baity was signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent but holds no hard feelings or grudges against the teams that didn’t draft him. He relishes in the fact that he gets to have his old college teammate on this journey with him and loves the support he gets from the veterans.

“Undrafted but I look at it as I still got the opportunity from the Texans to make this team. So, at the end of the day I want what is best for both of us,” Baity said.

Making it too an NFL roster has always been one of Baity’s life long dreams and he has excelled at proving that to the Texans coaching staff. With his position being overcrowded it is a constant battle both on and off the field to make sure he is doing and saying the right things. Although he envisions himself playing on Sundays, Baity takes on a different role once he leaves the Texans training facility. His two-year old son “Champ” (Derrick Baity III) and one-year old daughter Trinity mean the world to him and help keep him motivated to keep pushing even when he wants to give up.

“Whatever they want to be in life, I am going to support it and not force anything upon them,” Baity said when asked about his kids playing sports.

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