If there was any doubt, it was decided as the day drew to an end, when Andre laid down on the bench press and proceeded to dust off other running backs and big lineman alike. He pumped up 20 lifts of 205 pounds and looked like he might have got a couple more if the bar had not slipped in his hand. In any case, the closest running back could only muster 16 reps. There was one lineman who lifted 205 20 times but he is just a sophomore and his time will be next year.
This combine belonged to Andre Brown and it should have secured his place on the 2003 Shrine Bowl Team.
The day did not start as well as it ended. Andre was late getting to the combine and was just able to make the warm-ups after missing the pre-combine directions given by camp director and Greene Central Head Coach Jim Bob Bryant. His first test came in the shuttle. After running a disappointing 4.65 in his first try, Andre was heard to say "I slipped. That was bad." The test had already seen a 4.06 and the 4.65 score was the second worse from the group of running backs. The second try was even worse, as Andre slipped yet again. He scored a 4.85 which was bad enough for yet next to last once again. The good news was that everyone's scores went down.
Next up was the 40 yard dash. Andre did every event last because of his late arrival. The players went in numerical number and Andre's 221 was the highest in the running back. The sprinters before Brown clocked in some respectable numbers, but noting earth shattering. There were a couple of 4.68s, so when the Rose RB leaned down in his three point stance, you just knew he was going to rip off one of those 4.45 range times he was known for. Instead, the crowd watching Andre heard from one of the timers "Number 221 4.59". The crowd seemed a bit disappointed as did for Andre as he shook his head after the run. The good news was that he had turned in the fastest time for any running back.
The second sprint for Andre was a bit better but not by much. He leaned passed the timers and scored a 4.58, which was the second fastest time (West Craven WR Bobby Cox ran a 4.5). Again Brown looked a bit frustrated by it all.
Next up for the elite RB was the height and weight. There were absolutely no disappointing measurements here. Brown stood 6'2 ½" and weighed in at 211 pounds. I am talking a physically gifted athlete that is imposing without the pads. Dress him up and he will walk out of a college tunnel someday looking 6'4"ish and able to look most defensive players eye to eye.
The upward swing continued as Brown got tested on his vertical jump. First leap registered 34". The best jump of the day by far that would hold for about 15 seconds. The second jump bettered the first by 1 ½" at 35 ½". An amazing jump from a player who people were now calling a "stud RB".
I talked to Andre after the combine about his performance and recruiting. I asked him how he thought he did overall. "I did alright I guess. I had some slow times in the beginning, but I did better toward the end. I had a slow 40 from what I heard."
After I told Andre that it looked like perhaps the track was a bit slow for the day and that he indeed had the fastest time of the day for all running backs, he seemed to have found some relief in that. "Really? I guess that's not so bad then. I got to 20 on my lifts as well."
Andre also has making the Shrine Bowl team a goal for the upcoming season. "I want to make the Shrine Bowl. I also want to play in the All-American (Army) game."
I also asked Brown about his top schools that he is looking at right now. "My top five. Maryland, Georgia, NC State, Auburn and Notre Dame." He did not name a favorite.
It will be hard for any backs to better Brown's performance in the remaining three combines. Look for Andre to be in Rock Hill in December and I would not be surprised to see him San Antonio in January.