Coming off a 2,000 yard + season, you would think Andre Brown is looking at some pretty simple goals this year as he might look to equal that effort, maybe a little better and just continue his consistency at the running back position.
While 2,000 yards is the gold standard in the world of running backs, Andre is going for a standard that approaches the platinum level. "I want 3,000 yards this year." Andre said. "I know with this offensive, that's possible and I know what I can do."
What Andre can do is a little bit of everything as he combines a physical style that Andre looks for when nothing else is there, but that elusiveness and speed is always a comfort for him and is a weapon for Brown, especially in the second half. "Early on in the game, I'm just physical." he said. "I put my shoulder down, run in between the tackles and bounce out when I have to."
"After that, once I have pounded on them awhile, I take it on the sweeps and just use my speed to get down-field. I would rather go through them, but I can go around them if I need to."
Andre's 6'1" and 210+ lbs. frame already makes him an ideal candidate in pretty much any collegiate backfield. Though there is refinement for every player, what some colleges look for is immediate impact, not just from ability, but physically in regards to size as well. That's what Brown offers first in that his size says he's ready to go and his reported strength (Bench is a reported 365 and squat is 465) has to turn eyes and heads everywhere.
And, it's just about everywhere that those looks are coming from as offers have been coming in, from the Southern region as you might expect, but the run-happy Huskers of Nebraska have taken notice as well, solidifying this young man's worth at the position that much more.
What these offers don't do for Andre is lessen his expectations of himself and though you could look at his statistical goals of an illustration of that, rather look at his goals simply as showing people what he can do. "I want people to look at me as more of a complete back." Andre said. "I want them to see the full package this year, running through the tackles, on the sweeps and catching the ball."
Andre would also like teams to see him at the end of this year sporting a ring from a title that wasn't won the year prior, the potential of that increased by the turn of his aforementioned line. "We got so many coming back and some coming in, so I think this year I should get that ring, but anything can happen during a season." he said.
What Andre says will happen during the season though is some of his official visits. Most players would opt to have these visits for after the season, not to take anything away from what's going on during their final prep-year, but Andre says there's one specific reason why he wants to take some even while he is playing football. "I want to get to a few games on my official visits." he said. "I want to see what the atmospheres are like at certain places and just get an idea of what kind of fan-following they have."
That's just one of his criteria in choosing a school, but it pales to the main one, a goal for himself and someone else. "Whatever happens, I want to get my degree." Andre said. "I know my mom would really like it if I did, so that's what I am concentrating on more than anything."
"If something happens beyond college, ok, something happens, but no matter what, I am going to get my education, that way I will always have that even when football isn't there."
Brown isn't steadfast in taking all his visits, but is adamant about taking some during the season. As for when he plans to come to a decision, he puts it simply, "When I know it feels right to me and I know I have looked at that school enough, I might decide then, but that's just hard to say right now." he said.
Amongst the schools Andre is looking at, his list is ever-changing, his top-five fluctuating as the offers come in. "My list isn't set at all." Andre said. "It's changing so often, one week I like this team and another week, I like another. I couldn't tell you who my favorites are right now, because I am trying to look at them all."
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619
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