The senior season for Columbus (IN) East defensive back Steve Brown may have been derailed by injury, but that didn't prevent him from being recognized as one of the top football players in the country yesterday. Early Monday morning, representatives from the U.S. Army showed up to his small-town high school in southern Indiana to name him to their annual All-Star game.
"It went well," Brown said of the ceremony. "They held it right before school. They announced that they were coming last week. The whole team came, and a bunch of teachers did too. It was a big crowd. A local Army representative, another Army guy that came a little later, and the guy that handles all of the announcements presented me with my jersey. It was just a #6 jersey to represent that I was from the class of 06 and that I would be playing the game."
After breaking his ankle in Phys-Ed class a few weeks back, Brown thought the likelihood of being selected for the event was low. When word came down that he would indeed be a part of the festivities, he admitted to being a little taken aback. "I found out that I was nominated in the summer," Brown said. "I've been watching the game for a while now and I was hoping I would get to play in it. I always thought they picked it after the season, so I was a little surprised. I thought I would have to go out there and have another good year, and then hope to be invited. When I found out that I was selected for it, it felt pretty good."
Brown received more good news yesterday when he visited his doctor. The surgery to repair his broken ankle went very well and the four star safety has now been cleared to start the rehab process. Things are going so well that there's a slight chance that he may be back to help his team in the playoffs. "It's coming along well," Brown said of his ankle. "I went to the doctor today and they said it was doing better than expected. I'm allowed to start stretching my ankle with little motions…practicing going forward, back, and side to side. If we make a late run in the playoffs, I might be able to come back. We start early down here, but if we go into November there's a chance I can return."
As much as Brown would like to come back to help his team, he understands the chances of him being able to do so are not very high. That said, the opportunity to play in the All-American game curbed some of the disappointment that had set in. "Right now [the Army game] is my main concentration," Brown said regarding football. "We have the opportunity to make a deep playoff run, but I just don't know that I'd be ready. It would be pretty close. By the time I'd be fully healed, the state would be around, so it's all really close. But I just don't know about that. So my goal is to be 100% by the Army game. I'm going to play in that game."
Between surgery, rehab, school, his high school team, and his All-Star selection, Brown has had an extremely busy couple of weeks. Despite that, he has made it a point to keep up with his future team in Ann Arbor. He was glued to the television Saturday, pulling for the Maize and Blue to get back on the right track. "I talked to Coach English Friday," Brown said. "Then I watched the Michigan - Michigan State game the day after. I was really happy about that one!"