Brown Stands Firm

SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- Although the name of his position – defensive tackle – hasn't changed, UNC commitment Devonte Brown is having to adjust to a different set of responsibilities in preparation for Saturday's Shrine Bowl.

"They got me as an outside person," Brown said. "So basically, I have to come down the line and penetrate the guard or either the tackle."

The Shrine Bowl requires the team's defenses to employ a ‘50' scheme, which consists of three down linemen (two tackles and a nose guard) and two outside linebackers close to the line-of-scrimmage.

Brown, a 6-foot-4, 279-pounder from Fayetteville (N.C.) Britt, is playing right defensive tackle in a six-technique (head up on the offensive tackle).

"We have different setups," Brown said. "‘Base' is one of them – we've got to go against the tackle and shut him down. We've got another [formation] called ‘Reduce,' [where] I go for the guard and just penetrate him down the line."

The past two seasons, Brown has played defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme. He has lined up at both nose tackle (over the center) and three-technique (shaded over the guard's shoulder in the ‘B' gap).

"I'm getting adjusted to [the six-technique]," Brown said. "I'm getting better at it."

The biggest adjustments for Brown have been with his footwork coming off the ball and understanding that his responsibility isn't necessarily to make the play but to hold the blockers.

"Instead of going up the field and go for the quarterback, I have to go for the tackles and guards, to keep them off my linebackers," Brown said. "It's something I've had to adjust to and I'm getting better at every day."

After a few days of practice with the defense and against the offense, Brown likes North Carolina's odds against South Carolina on Saturday.

"We have a chance," Brown said. "We have a chance to hit them hard and possibly take it home."

Off the practice field, Brown says he's not feeling any pressure to switch his commitment from UNC.

"I'm not feeling any pressure," Brown said. "It's mainly love."

Brown is, though, enjoying being on a team where the UNC commitments easily out-number those committed to other schools.

"We're all brothers here," Brown said. "Even the [recruits] not committed to UNC, we're still a family."

On Monday night, Brown spoke to Sam Pittman, his primary UNC recruiter.

"[He just said] keep on going, keep on hitting, and be a freak," Brown said.

Brown, who has already officially visited UNC, says he doesn't plan on taking any future official trips.

"No more visits," Brown said.

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