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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Brown’s attitude deserves recognition

I hate – no, despise – showboats on the gridiron.

Just make the play, huddle-up, then approach the line of scrimmage. It’s really that simple.

Too many college athletes want to be the face of their sport – not in the Michael Jordan sense, but in the Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens sense.

That’s why I admire IU defensive tackle Greg Brown, who graduated in December.

Brown is the epitome of the blue-collar football player. He brings his lunch pail to every game and does everything in his power to help the team win. Taunting is not in his vocabulary.

OK, it’s not like the guy never gets excited after making a crowd-pleasing play.

If Brown spins past a guard on the line and sacks a quarterback, you’ll know. He’ll occasionally slap a high five or perhaps chest-bump one of his teammates. But by no means is he over-the-top like some not-so-camera-shy athletes out there.

Ironically, though, Brown wants to follow in former NFL star Warren Sapp’s footsteps.

Sapp was more known for his loudmouthed, egotistical personality in his 13-year career than his adept skills on the field.

Still, Brown looks up to Sapp. He doesn’t know him personally, but aspires to become the same type of defensive lineman – one who gives the opposing offensive coordinator chills on gamedays.

But Brown has to take a different approach than his idol to fulfill his NFL dream.
Sapp suited up for Miami, one of the most storied programs in college football.

After a stellar career at The U, the OB Killa – I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt – was selected 12th overall in the 1995 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brown’s case is quite the opposite.

He doesn’t have a phone book filled with NFL scouts. He doesn’t have an e-mail inbox cluttered by general managers either. Not yet at least.

Brown played for IU, a basketball-driven school that casts a shadow on a football program waiting to burst out of its shell.

Since his sophomore season, he has started in every game and has always been one of the leading tacklers on the squad.

At one point, Brown, Greg Middleton and Jammie Kirlew were on the line together. You can’t get better than that.

Still, NFL teams haven’t taken notice. That’s where IU’s Pro Day comes in.
NFL scouts visited IU on Tuesday to hold a mini-combine – a once-in-a-lifetime shot for Brown to prove his legitimacy.

Along with 11 other Hoosiers, Brown ran the 40, showcased his footwork in cone drills and tested his anaerobic strength in the weight room.

His times were eye-popping for a 299-pound defensive tackle.

Brown ran a 5.09 sec. 40-yard dash – nearly two seconds better than his springtime run. His best 20-yard shuttle time clocked in at 4.45 seconds. And in the gym, Brown said he impressed some scouts with 25 repetitions at 225 pounds.

With numbers like that, NFL scouts definitely are going to take a look at this kid.
Now, the hard part of waiting begins.

Brown’s agent said he hopes teams will contact the Centerville, Ohio, native within the next month. If that happens, Brown will be granted a private workout amid team personnel.
It’s a road few travel because few succeed.

But Brown’s not caught up in past experiences.

He’s focused on his game and, more importantly, is determined to make noise in arguably the toughest professional sports organization in the country.

Just not the kind of noise Sapp or any showboat displays.  

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