Jai Edwards and his younger brother Carsen have shared a lot in life. Soon, they hope to share something else - both being professional athletes.
Carsen is a guard for the Boston Celtics of the NBA.
Jai is getting looks from a lot of NFL scouts in his senior season as a defensive back for the Tarleton State University Texans, one of the nation's top NCAA Division II programs.
"All through high school and growing up, we shared the same room," Jai said of their years growing up in Atascocita, where they each excelled in their respective sport.
They did share some time in the same sport. Jai played basketball in high school alongside Carsen for two years, and Carsen played one year of football with Jai before Jai graduated.
And though they are many miles apart these days, they communicate daily.
"We mostly text, but we're in touch every day. We'll even ask each other what should I wear today?" Jai said.
Jai has traveled twice to watch Carsen practice, though he has yet to catch an actual game. Meanwhile, Carsen made the trip to Nacogdoches for this season's opener against Stephen F. Austin, a 37-26 victory for the Texans.
Jai began his college days at Blinn Junior College, one of the more renowned junior college football programs in America. He recorded over 100 tackles in two seasons with the Buccaneers. Then, after a detour through SFA - which made the season-opening win even sweeter, he said - he came to Tarleton, where he'd visited first, ironically.
"I honestly feel everything worked out for the best," said Jai, who is in his second season with the Texans.
While Jai would love to become a pro himself, first things first - and topping that list is hopefully helping the Texans win a national championship. They were undefeated (5-0) and ranked fourth in the nation at the time of this article. They were 12-1 last season, advancing three rounds deep in the playoffs for the first time in school history.
Now the Texans are preparing to make the jump to NCAA Division I next season, a move that Jai takes pride in he and his teammates for helping bring that about.
"It's very exciting, seeing the school changing. I can't wait to come back a few years from now and see everything then," he said.
And all the while, he and Carsen continue to give advice to each other.
"Our parents brought us up to say when we see something, so we look for things that will help each other out," Jai said. "He'll say, 'You could have wrapped up better,' or I'll say, 'You could have gotten that rebound.' It's like having an extra set of eyes to help notice things that are going to make us better."
Tarleton defensive coordinator Marcus Patton said the closeness between Jai and Carsen could be helpful in Jai achieving his goal of playing professionally.
"I think he's a very legitimate pro prospect. He doesn't take a backseat to anyone athletically," Patton said of Jai. "Jai grew up with that daily competition. It made a difference in my life having an older brother and a young brother who were both competitive."
And while he'd happily play anywhere in the NFL, there is one particular team that would be a dream come true were they to draft him, Jai said - the New England Patriots.
"That would be amazing. We'd see each other every day," Jai said. "My mom would probably move there."