Brown Ready To Make Plays

RALEIGH, NC -- Andre Brown is being patient. He sees how well fellow freshman Toney Baker is doing at running back and is simply waiting on his chance to make plays for the Wolfpack.

After not playing in the opener against Virginia Tech, Brown had nine carries for 25 yards against Eastern Kentucky, including a 7-yard touchdown run the first time he touched the ball.

He had just two rushes for seven yards last week against Georgia Tech, but was the only other Wolfpack player besides Baker to receive carries against the Yellow Jackets.

"I think [the coaches] are feeling that I'm becoming more comfortable with the offense," Andre Brown told Pack Pride. "That's the main reason I wasn't out there earlier, I wasn't picking up the offense. I wasn't picking it up as quickly as Toney [Baker], Darrell [Blackman], and those guys.

"I struggled a little bit, but now that he is seeing that I understand the offense they are putting me out there more."

Brown, who originally signed with NC State in 2004 but spent last season at Hargrave Military Academy meeting academic requirements, was North Carolina's Associated Press Player of the Year in 2003. He rushed for a state record 3,479 yards as a senior, averaging more than 12 yards per carry. Brown feels his size, speed and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield are some of his best assets.

"Yes, no question," Brown said. "When I was in high school I was catching the ball a lot. I was a little slimmer, probably about 205 or 210 pounds, but now I'm about 228 or 230 pounds, around there."

"I feel comfortable catching the ball or running the ball. It doesn't matter to me."

Brown has already made a splash on special teams, starting at kick returner and flashing the ability to make big plays whenever he touches the ball. At kick returner, Brown has fielded three kicks and is averaging 28.3 yards per return, second on the team to Darrell Blackman, who is averaging an astounding 35.5 yards per return.

Brown believes that playing kick returner gives him a chance to showcase what he can do with the ball in his hands.

"I can get on the field and make something happen," Brown said. "Everytime I get on the field I feel like I can make a play... get my name out. That's what is on my mind. Everytime I go back there I want to make a play."

He narrowly missed returning the opening kickoff of the second half against Georgia Tech for a touchdown, but instead of bouncing the kick outside behind his blocking he chose to run inside and was tackled after a 39-yard return.

On what looked like a sure touchdown, NC State would eventually have to punt the ball and came away with no points, despite the good field position. Brown knows he made a mistake on the return and says it won't happen again.

"[Laughing]Man, I've got to go outside... just go outside," he said. "I don't know. I keep cutting inside. That's where all the trouble is at. I'm going to get another one, and I'm going to go outside."

As the season progresses, Brown hopes to receive more touches at tailback but his spirits remain high. He is already starting to become a leader on the team and has accepted that role.

"I feel that I'm going to have to work hard and keep doing what I'm doing," Brown said. "I just have to keep the guys up out here and stay motivated. I feel like I'm more of a leader out here. Doing more of that, as far as pushing others, is what I want to do for us.

"I'm going to stay patient and ready to make plays when I get touch the ball."

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