Pack Eyeing In-State Linebacker

LB Mario Brown will be working hard to prove himself in 2005 and he's already attracted the attention of several schools, including NC State.

By now, NC State's needs at LB for the class of 2006 have been well documented. The state of North Carolina doesn't appear to be very deep at the LB spot for next year's class but there are a few talented prospects that the Pack will be keeping a watchful eye on.

One player that will be working as hard as any to prove himself in 2005 is LB Mario Brown from Greene Central in Snow Hill, NC. At 6-0, 211 pounds and boasting 4.54-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Brown played an abbreviated schedule as a junior due to an injury. He recently told Pack Pride that he felt the inability to play a full schedule may have hurt him in his recruiting and he's looking to overcome that by working out at every camp and combine possible between now and next season.

"I didn't play but about half the season (last year) but I had about 58 tackles in the games I did play," said Brown. "I feel like I've got something to prove this year and that's why I've been going to all these combines. I want to prove myself to everybody and let them know I can play. I'm going to go to a bunch of summer camps and hopefully, when the coaches see me, I can show off."

In addition to Brown's impressive 40 speed, he also recorded a 29-inch vertical jump and 4.37-second shuttle run earlier this spring. He also bench pressed 185 pounds 27 times. This past Saturday Brown was able to put all of those abilities to use as he worked out with players hoping to make the 2005 Shrine Bowl squad. The rising senior looked great in drills- flying to the ball, doing a good job of getting off blocks and dropping back in pass coverage. So far, Brown's hard work has resulted in interest from several regional programs.

"Right now I'm hearing the most from UNC, East Carolina, NC State and Virginia," said Brown. "My coach told me Chuck Amato called the school and Donnie Thompson from East Carolina called. Coaches from Virginia and Wake Forest came by."

Brown told Pack Pride that he's shying away from naming a number one school right now but it would appear the Wolfpack is in great shape.

"Well, I like NC State right now but I can't really tell you I have a favorite because I haven't gotten any offers yet. I would say my top schools are NC State, UNC, East Carolina, Wake Forest and Virginia."

Brown plans to camp at State over the summer and talked about the Wolfpack program.

"They are a great school for football and academics," he said. "They're real competitive and that's why I like them basically."

Brown plans to major in Business in college.

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