TotalBlueSports.com/Troy Verde

Brown Ready to Carry BYU RB Reins

On the eve of fall camp, the news of Jamaal Williams withdrawing from BYU was both shocking and worrisome. The Cougars are preparing for a difficult schedule this season, and Williams will be sorely missed. However, the BYU offense isn’t without options and Algernon Brown is ready to step in.

He’s a battering ram, a fearless competitor, and one who relishes the helmet to helmet contact with defenders. If anything it’s because he knows he can win the battle and that’s what BYU needs coming from its offensive backfield. Algernon Brown, as well as the rest of BYU's running backs, will now be responsible for carrying the load left behind by Jamaal Williams after he withdrew from school.

<p>

“Yeah, I feel like I’m ready,” Brown said. “I feel physically and mentally ready to go. It’s going to be me, Adam (Hine), Nate (Carter), and A’i (Ho Ching). It’s going to be all of us.

<p>

“Jamaal is definitely a smaller, quicker back. I find myself as a powerful kind of a fight for you guys kind of back. This year, hopefully, I’ve improved on my speed. You can talk to Coach Wintrich about that.”

<p>

There will be more responsibilities to go around now that Williams has withdrawn from school.

<p>

“Yeah, Marky (BYU running backs coach Mark Atuaia) is going to put more responsibility on my shoulders to help the other guys coming in,” Brown said. “I feel like I’ve improved since last fall and since spring. It’s kind of fun to now put everything I’ve learned into play. I’m excited for the season.”

<p>

Those tough yards and blocking responsibilities won’t just all be placed on Browns shoulders. At 6-1, 230-pounds, Algernon Brown is a force to be reckoned with; a tough grinding machine that’s been moved to play the tailback position with the emergence of “The Hammer” Toloa’i Ho Ching, who’s grown considerably at his new fullback position.

<p>

“He definitely has gone from learning something new and the offense last year to becoming a leader in our room,” said Brown. “A lot of the younger guys are looking to him as well and asking him questions.”

<p>

The void left by Williams will be filled by a bevy of backs with varying skill sets as Brown mentioned. At the end of last season, Brown received more game time reps that helped his grown as a powerful back. Now with more running back responsibilities placed squarely on his shoulders, Brown is grateful for those opportunities looking back in hindsight.

<p> 

“Yeah, I am grateful for those opportunities that I had to run the ball more last season,” Brown said. “I feel I’ve improved as a running back and I’m looking forward to carrying more of the responsibilities along with the other guys on my team. I think we have the talent to do so.

<p>

“We have quite a bit of experience behind us, and we have some new guys who are doing pretty good. We just have a bunch of different styles of play, and so it’s fun to see how everyone goes about running the plays.”

<p>

While the added responsibility as a running back is welcome news to Brown, he doesn’t place greater value of those new opportunities at the expense of losing his friend and former teammate, Jamaal Williams. If it were up to Brown, he would rather have Williams by his side more than anything else.

<p>

“It was definitely a sad feeling,” Brown said. “We were just kind of shocked about it at first. Seeing a really good friend and we’ve also seen him grown a lot in the room to seeing him now leave is really upsetting. I don’t really know how to explain it but it’s upsetting."

<p>

When Brown first heard the news that his friend and brother in arms wouldn’t be by his side to help carry the running back responsibilities, he was both hurt and upset with the whole ordeal.

<p>

“At first I was kind of mad,” said Brown. “It was surprising but, hey, Marky is helping us to put it all behind us and that’s what we’re doing.

<p>

“We were in a team meeting and Coach Mendenhall actually announced it. It caught everyone by surprise, so we all just had to soak it in and move on.”

<p>

Like for many others on his team, the situation revolving around Williams was heartbreaking to Brown. Knowing how important Williams is to the team and program, as well as being very close to him, only added to the disheartening news.

<p>

“Anytime you have someone leave the team, especially someone that important, someone who contributes so much, played a big role on the team, it’s kind of hard to see someone [like that] go,” Brown said. “You just have to move on some times.”

<p>

On a positive note, new running back Squally Canada had a great first day breaking off chunks of yardage during team scrimmage on day one of BYU's fall camp. Squally is quick and gets into the open field quickly giving the Cougar backfield something to look forward to in the future.

<p>

“Oh, he’s similar to Jamaal,” Brown said. “He’s not as big as Jamaal, but he made a few good plays today. It’s kind of fun to see and comforting to see some of the younger guys coming up. He started off with us over the summer and then went back to see his family in California. When he came back he was a new man. He came in ready to work and has been working harder than he ever was.”

<p>

<B>Cougar Cam: Mark Atuaia</B>

<p>

BYU running backs coach Mark Atuaia fields questions from the media concerning a wide range of topics. Coach Atuaia talks about the situation surrounding the withdrawal of RB Jamaal Williams and who will step up to fill the void. He addresses many topics in this edition of Cougar Cam.

<p>

<iframe width="420" height="236" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HWX54hX-VLk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Total Blue Sports Top Stories