"You got to love it." Running back, Andre Brown said of finally having the pads back on. "It feels a little different this year, but you always love being out there."
The difference Andre eludes to is how it feels about this being his last year. For a young man that did so much last year in running for over 2,000 yards, averaging almost 14 yards per carry and scoring over a dozen times, he's not satisfied and actually thinks that this year he has something to prove. "This year it's different, because I know I have to go out there and really step it up." Brown said. "I have to prove myself to everyone out there, the state and the nation."
Amongst his goals for this up-coming year is a season where he will try to reach a rarely-accomplished mark rushing, tallying over 3,000 yards on the ground. I don't think I would have to say that if Andre reached that mark, whatever he felt he had to prove would have been so, emphatically.
With equal exuberance isn't just putting on those pads, but being able to put them to good use, something that Brown states they have actually been discouraged to do at this point. "We are working out in pads, but they are telling us that we can't hit." Andre said. I don't know about you, but telling a young man in pads that he can't hit is like giving someone a semi to drive and telling them they can't tailgate. It's just not fair.
And, as you would expect of young men eager for the battle, they still manage to get a few licks in here and there. "We still hit." Brown stated. "I mean, you have to." Actually, it's hitting and getting hit that really lets you know the season is right around the corner, but Andre said jokingly that getting hit is ok, up to a point. "Yeah, getting hit is all right, until someone gets that good hit on you and it's like ‘well, that's enough of that, time to run the other way'."
So, you can add smart to Andre's already impressive resume'.
It's a resume' that has been noticed and appreciated all over the place. Offers galore and even more have come in the last month. "LSU and Georgia Tech offered this last month." Andre indicated. "And a whole lot of mail."
LSU was already on his list of favorites, even without the offer, so does that make them a favorite now? "No." Andre said. "I'm really pretty wide-open. I am looking all over at schools like Nebraska, Maryland, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and others."
Andre isn't in a huge hurry to make a decision as he plans on taking a maximum of one visit during the season if just to see a game-time atmosphere, but isn't even sure as to where that visit will take place, if it does at all. Other than that, he's waiting it out, because as you might figure, he's got other things on his mind.
"I have a lot of goals this year for the team and myself." Andre said. "I want to be focused on that and the whole recruiting process is something I will take a look at, but it won't win me any high school games."
"So, I'm not in a big hurry to decide."
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619
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