Schools are taking notice of Kentwood DB

Growing up as a Florida State fan, Kentwood's Darrick Brown (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) has always aligned himself with winners on and off the field. However, since coach Nick Saban took over the reigns at LSU, Brown now finds himself with a deeper passion for the purple and gold at LSU rather than the garnet and gold at FSU.

If you are looking for one of the biggest sleepers in this year's recruiting class then look no farther than Brown. He earned a reputation in track and field by winning the Class 1A Outstanding Field Award as a sophomore and then repeated the selection as a junior, thus solidifying his status as one of the state's top athletes.


Now, he is looking to earn that same kind of recognition on the football field and he has spent the summer working diligently at doing just that.


Not many young men can say they hold a national record but Brown is one of the few who can. He holds the national record with an 11-1 broad jump and also posted the highest vertical leap at one of Saban's summer camps with a 41-inch best. Coaches from LSU, Baylor, Southern Miss and Tulane are expressing the most interest but expect others to start calling when they get wind of his feats.


"It felt pretty good at LSU," Brown said of his performance at the summer camp. "It was good to see how I could do next to all of the other guys. I tried to do the best I could and it worked out alright."


Brown, who has the core GPA but needs to improve a couple of points on the ACT, would like to play football and participate in some field events at the collegiate level since he is such a gifted athlete. He took home three state championships in last year's LHSCA Track and Field Championships with a first-place finish in the high jump (6-5), triple jump (23-5) and the long jump (46-8). Leaps like that have LSU track and field coach Pat Henry circling the wagons in hopes of landing Brown's signature.


If you think he is only a track guy playing football then you are sadly mistaken, says Kentwood football coach David Currier.


"Darrick is just an outstanding athlete," Currier said. "He plays out of position at running back for us but he could play anywhere you put him on the field. He is not just a track guy out there. He is a football player through and through."


One thing holding Brown back for now is the fact that he has played out of position the past two years for Currier but all of that should change this season since he will spend more time at safety. Currier said he will still use him at running back because of necessity but college coaches will have plenty of opportunities to see him in the defensive backfield.


"He's going to play a lot of offense for us because we have a need for that but his future is on defense," Currier said. "He is not a bulky guy but he has tremendous athleticism with great leg strength. He has excellent speed and he loves to hit you. Everything he does is full speed."


One thing that sets him apart from others is his relentless work ethic and his desire to improve as a football player.


"He is a worker and he has a great attitude," Currier said. "He takes what he has and enhances it. Darrick is the type of kid that always does what the coaches ask him. You never hear him talk back and he always looks to do more than what you ask him to do."


Currier compares him to a couple of former Kentwood players who went on to enjoy successful college careers and one who spent many years in the NFL.


"He may be the kid with the most athletic ability to ever come out of Kentwood," Currier said. "He is not as polished as Demetrius Hookfin (LSU) or Michael Jackson (Nicholls State and the Cleveland Browns) but he has just as much raw ability. I have no doubt he can play at the next level. I know he can play and he will do whatever it takes to get better."


Out of the schools he hears from the most, LSU stands out above all of the rest because of its longstanding tradition in track and field and the recent success Saban has brought to the football program.


"I really like the tradition and the way coach Saban deals with his players," Brown said. "He does not get real mad about the little things and he always has a good team wherever he is."


The sky is the limit for this young man. And judging from the spring in his step even that may be within reach.

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