Worth the wait for Brown

CLEMSON - Kourtnei Brown hadn't scored a touchdown in years.

In fact, the last time he reached pay dirt, Brown was a senior in high school. Then, a highly-rated prospect at Victory Christian Center in Charlotte, he scored after recovering a fumble against Charlotte Latin.

Now a redshirt senior at Clemson, he had two touchdowns in Clemson's 59-38 win over North Carolina on Saturday, a 20-yard interception return and a 26-yard fumble recovery.

Not since Walt Laraway scored on a blocked punt and an interception return against The Citadel in 1954 had a Clemson defensive lineman scored two touchdowns in one game.

"It couldn't happen to a better guy...[Brown] just really shined today," said Dalton Freeman. "We're really proud of him."

Brown was also in on two tackles and had a pass breakup.

Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele commended the second-team defensive end for being a "team player."

"He doesn't worry about if he plays 10 snaps or 50 snaps. He just shows up to work. That's how it's supposed to be," Steele said.

For Brown, Saturday couldn't have been any sweeter.

"I couldn't have asked for a better day," he said. "I was playing against my home team. I was a team captain, scored two touchdowns. And to get the win, I couldn't ask for more."

His first touchdown gave Clemson a 24-10 lead with 4:45 left in the second quarter.

"When the quarterback went back, I realized that the running back was going back to receive the pass. I was able to breakdown the play and make the interception," Brown said.

The scoop and score padded the Tigers' lead to 59-24 with :14 left in the third quarter.

"It was perfect," Brown said. "I think Stephone Anthony caused it. When I came around and realized the ball was on the ground, I was like, 'Hey, somebody's got to pick it up."

Not bad for a guy who opted to redshirt after using his first two seasons of eligibility.

Before the start of the 2009 season, head coach Dabo Swinney suggested to Brown that he use his redshirt year that season. As a junior, Brown watched the Tigers' run to the ACC Championship from the sideline.

"As soon as I [suggested] that. He said, 'Coach, this was something I had been praying about this summer.' He was very receptive to it," Swinney said.

According to Brown, he needed to develop.

"I started late. I started playing football in the 10th grade. I was ready physically, but not mentally, so I took the year to sit out and learn more about the game," he said. "It paid off."

It certainly has.

"He's having a good year for us. He really is. He's had two or three games now where he's made some plays," Swinney said. "It just couldn't happen to a better guy. That was really special to see him have a game like that."

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