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21 DAYS TO 2022 KICKOFF: Drake Cheatum

In which BracketCat counts down the 21st day until the 2022 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State safety Drake Cheatum.

#22 Drake Cheatum
K-State safety Drake Cheatum (22), a transfer from Prairie View A&M, already has seen action against at least one future Big 12 opponent in Houston.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.

#21 Drake Cheatum

True Super Senior | 5-10 | 191 lbs. | Mesquite, Texas
Drake Cheatum
Drake Cheatum
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Safety
  • Previous College: Prairie View A&M University
  • Projection: Second-String
  • Status: On Scholarship

Drake Cheatum (b. June 10, 2000) is a transfer safety from Prairie View A&M who, like Reggie Stubblefield in 2021, has one year to make an immediate impact as a super senior.

(Although he never redshirted, so theoretically he could use that option if he were injured...)

Cheatum saw action in 11 games in 2018 as a true freshman at Prairie View, with starts in each of his final seven contests. He had a season-best 11 tackles in his first career start at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, which also included his first career tackle for loss.

Cheatum came back the following week with his first career interception against Grambling and then had another double-digit tackle effort against Alcorn State, when he had 10 stops.

In 2019, he again saw time in all 11 games, with eight starts, as he picked up first-team All-SWAC accolades for the first time.

Cheatum finished third on the team with 66 tackles, while he was second with three interceptions. He also produced eight total pass breakups and carded a season-high 12 tackles to go along with a tackle for loss, pass breakup, and fumble recovery at Houston.

Cheatum’s other tackle for loss in that season was against Virginia-Lynchburg. His three interceptions on the year came against Grambling, at Southern and at Alabama State.

Cheatum then started all three games of PVAMU’s COVID-shortened spring 2021 season.

He had a season-best eight tackles in the opener against Texas Southern, and also had a pass breakup against Tigers and one the following week at Grambling.

Last fall, Cheatum started all 12 games, finishing with a team-high 86 tackles to go along with 5.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions and 10 total pass breakups.

He agan earned first-team All-SWAC and also added HBCU All-American honors after ranking 14th in the FCS and tops in the SWAC in interceptions, while he was fifth in the conference in tackles.

Cheatum had two interceptions at Bethune-Cookman before repeating that mark one week later against Southern, and he was the only player in the FCS to record multiple interceptions in consecutive weeks in 2021.

He returned one of his interceptions against Bethune-Cookman 62 yards for a touchdown.

Cheatum had a career-high 14 tackles against Mississippi Valley State, which included a season-best seven solo stops, and also set a career high with 1.5 tackles for loss against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Now, looking for bigger things, he will try his hand at the Big 12 slate.

Cheatum prepped under head coach Jeff Neill at West Mesquite (Texas) High School, where he totaled 194 tackles over his junior and senior seasons to go along with four interceptions and five total passes defended. He also returned eight total kickoffs for a 16.1-yard average.

Cheatum earned first-team all-district honors as a senior, while he was on the 2016 and 2017 academic all-state teams. He also competed in basketball and track in high school.

You can read a little more about his journey and earlier collegiate accomplishments here.