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Abe Brown adds speed at linebacker

"One of my biggest [off-season] goals is to gain more weight." - <b>Abe Brown</b>

Sophomore Abe Brown is simply too talented an athlete to stand on the sidelines watching the action.

Brown, who came to Louisville two years ago ranked as one of the nation's top safety prospects, has found a new home at linebacker this spring.

With two returning starters, senior Kerry Rhodes and junior Brent Johnson, at safety, and talented youngsters like Malik Jackson and Brandon Sharp waiting in the wings, both Brown and the Cardinal coaching staff knew a position change was needed.

"It was a mutual decision," Brown explained of his switch to linebacker. "The coaches and I both felt that I had to be on the field some way or another and we made a decision to try linebacker."

Possessing good speed (4.5) and the desire to hit, the decision to move down to the linebacker position this spring appears a success. The 6-foot-3 Sarasota native has run with the first team defense the entire spring and has been impressive throughout drills at his new position.

"Physically it's harder at linebacker but mentally it's a little easier," Brown said. "But the transition for me has been [fairly easy] because I'm used to coming down and hitting. Now I just have to shed [my blocks] and hit."

And Brown feels comfortable with his new roll in the middle of the Cardinal defense.

"I feel I'm doing good but there's still enough room for work," Brown said. "I've got the [calls and reads] down but I still make some mistakes."

As spring drills conclude Friday with the annual spring game, Brown has one simple goal for himself during the offseason.

"One of my biggest goals is to gain more weight," Brown said. "I'd like to get up to 230 next fall. Right now, I'm about 223. So I'm going to try and gain about ten more pounds."

And that should be the fun part, at least if Brown enjoys doing work at the training table.

"I get to eat a lot more," said Brown.

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