Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Writing off Marlon Brown, others?

Any time a highly touted freshman arrives on campus, he of the 4 or 5 star ranking, he's almost always expected to be an all-conference performer right out of the gate. I won't broach the topic of the importance of star rankings here, as that topic has become as heated as abortion or the ending of The Sopranos.

Fairly or unfairly, many fans expect that, because the AJ Green's, Eric Berry's, and Marcus Lattimore's of the world exist, that all such high school phenoms should be able to waltz right in and put up similar freshman performances.

The fact is, these types of situations are the exception, not the norm. Not everyone is on the same timeline, and not every situation is the same.

Take Marlon Brown. After a dominating senior year in high school, he turned in a brilliant performance which included a 71 yd TD reception in the 2009 Under Armour All America game, sending his already high stock skyrocketing.

After he committed to Georgia, many believed he would be a mirror image of AJ Green, given his size, speed, and athleticism. But, things didn't turn out that way.

In the fall of 2009, Brown failed to make any significant move up the depth chart, catching just 2 balls (which came in a blowout at Tennessee, and were seemingly force fed to him just to let him catch a couple in his home state).

Then, last year, Brown slowly began to emerge from the shadows, notching his first TD reception in Colorado, though he still was largely unable to earn significant playing time. Of course, settling in behind Green, Durham, and Tavarres King can do that to a player.

Now, in 2011, Brown has worked his way atop the depth chart. While tenuous, it speaks volumes of a player who really does have the skills and attitude to be successful in the SEC, even though the road to the top of this hill (again, for the time being) may have been traveled by rickshaw, not rocket ship.

I'm certainly not saying Brown has "arrived." After all, he still has yet to make consistent positive contributions offensively. The point, though, is that many had written him off as a bust, saying he only appeared to be a special player because of the talent, or lack thereof, he played against in high school.

I personally am looking forward to seeing how he fares this season, and hoping for the best for him, and all others who've kept their noses clean, showed up every day, and practiced hard. It's not his fault that a couple of recruiting services saw some game film and a 71 yd catch in an all star game, and decided that he should be the next Randy Moss.


  1. As the saying goes, sometimes a guy just needs a change of scenery. With Green and Durham gone, perhaps this change in scenery is enough to infuse him with fire and confidence to take the next step. DJ did it, Moses did it, Terrell Davis did it...

  2. Great read and a valuable lesson about "keeping your nose clean".