"Abe has been more of the surprise that other teams have seen so far," said first year outside linebackers coach Tony Levine. "They've seen Brandon Johnson and Robert McCune from last year. They've only seen Abe Brown on special teams and some safety from last season. They look at him this year and he's put on 25 pounds...he's faster and he's stronger."
While there is little question that opposing coaches are surprised by the presence and play of a bulked up Brown, the Cardinal fans are likely pleasantly surprised as well.
Through three games, the 6-foot-3 outside linebacker has accumulated a team-leading three sacks and nine total tackles.
However, the transition wasn't a simple at the beginning, but its one that he has adapted to well.
"It's a big change coming from safety, where I was one of the top players coming out of high school and then being asked to play linebacker, it was a big change because you have to be more physical at linebacker," said Brown. "I'm comfortable with what I can do, but there is always room for improvement. I learn something new every day I'm out there."
Brown credits the returning starters in Robert McCune and Brandon Johnson for helping him learn the position so quickly.
"They've been a big help to me," Brown explained. "They've helped to learn when to make certain plays and I'm the young guy so I have to learn from them and they help out a lot."
Due to his ability to pick up the new position quickly, Abe Brown has positioned himself to become an anchor in the Cardinal defense as it finishes the 2004 season and makes the move to the Big East Conference.