Andre Brown: North Carolina's Best?

After a sensational senior season, a case could be made for Greenville (NC) Rose RB Andre Brown being the state's top football player. <P>

Greenville (NC) Rose High School defeated Winston-Salem (NC) Mt. Tabor in the 4A-State Championships 51-7 behind the outstanding play of Running Back Andre Brown.

Brown, the game's Most Valuable Player, rushed for 270 yards and 3 Touchdowns on 27 carries. He also recorded two sacks and a forced fumble on defense.

Andre's effort set the state of North Carolina's single-season rushing record, gaining 3,479 yards and 46 touchdowns on the season. He broke the record on his final touchdown of the day, a 56-yard scamper.

After posting the best season ever in North Carolina for a running back, could Andre be the state's top overall player this year? In a state filled with top running backs such as Jamaal Edwards, George Bell, John McEachin, and junior Toney Baker, Andre stood out as the best. Playing in the highest classification in North Carolina, he rushed for more yardage (on fewer carries) then Baker, McEachin, and Edwards, while also posting more touchdowns AND leading his team to the state championship. How can anyone argue that Brown, who will turn 17 on December 15th, is behind those great players?

Although most would agree that Andre could be the state's top running back, where doubt comes in for overall player begins with the additions of Greensboro (NC) Dudley Defensive Tackle Demario Pressley and Marshville (NC) Forest Hills Lineman Marque Hall, generally considered North Carolina's top two college prospects. While both are great prospects and should have outstanding college futures, what separates Brown is his versatility and that's why he is the state's top player and/or prospect.

Andre rushed for 270 and 3 scores in the 4-A championship game, he threw a touchdown pass, he had two sacks as a defensive end, and he forced a fumble. Earlier in the season Brown recorded an interception, he caught touchdowns as a wideout, and he even had three kickoff returns for scores. Andre has impacted the game in so many ways that there is no denying his value and ability as a pure football player. Simply put, if I could pick one player in the state to start a team with it would be Andre Brown, and that's why he is the top football player in the state of North Carolina.

Now Brown just needs to focus on his academics and choosing a college before taking the next steps into his bright future.

Championship Recap

Reflector: Rose Wins State Championship

"All things go through my offensive line," Brown said. "Without them, I'm never leading the state in rushing."

"Now I can say I brought something back to Greenville. Every time I go back to Greenville, I can say, 'Hey, I won a state championship when I was there.' It's an awesome feeling."

Associated Press: Greenville Rose 51, Winston-Salem Mt. Tabor 7

"Brown turned in a performance that stuffed the stat sheets tighter than a stocking on Christmas morning. He rushed for 270 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries and threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Bunn on offense. On defense, he had 1 1/2 sacks, two tackles for losses and forced a fumble.

He broke the single-season rushing record with a 56-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter. The senior finished the season with 3,478 yards, breaking the old mark of 3,456 yards set by Goldsboro's Montrell Coley in 1996.

His 270 rushing yards Saturday were third-best in state championship game history."

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