2010 Intro: Kelby Brown

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- If Kelby Brown, who holds two BCS offers, didn't play out of position early in his prep career, Charlotte Christian might have two linebackers possessing double-digit scholarship offers.

"I really think that if Kelby would have had two years of [linebacker], we might be talking about him and Ty [Linton] having the same amount of offers," Christian head football coach Jason Estep said. "But [Brown] worked hard and did what was best for the team."

Brown, a 6-foot-2, 210-pounder, began his varsity career at safety as a sophomore.

"We put him back there because we needed to have him on the field," Estep said. "We had a really good senior class that year that included some linebackers in that class that were really good.

Junior Highlights:
"A lot of times we were able to roll him down for some extra run support. But he was truly out of his position. He wasn't able to get into his comfort zone and play."

Before his junior season, Brown moved to strongside inside linebacker in Christian's 3-4 scheme. He ended the season with CISAA All-Conference honors after totaling 86 tackles, including 11 for a loss and two sacks, four forced fumbles, and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown. Even more significant, Christian won the NCISAA 11-Man State Championship.

"It was a real easy transition, because that's how I think naturally," Brown said. "At safety, I felt kind of awkward trying to drop as opposed to run-read."

Brown's presence provided Christian's defense, which starts Linton at weakside linebacker, with balance.

"If you have Kelby inside on the opposite side, you can't run away from Ty," Estep said. "Kelby's a force too, so who are you going to game plan against?"

Additionally, Brown brings unmatched versatility to play all four linebacker positions.

"We usually just use Ty outside, where Kelby is able to play inside or outside linebacker," Estep said. "He's athletic enough to widen out and guard a receiver. But he's also strong enough to play inside and be a force to stop the run."

Brown has collected scholarship offers from Indiana and Syracuse, while all the same schools that are recruiting Linton, have also expressed interest in Brown.

Brown's Indiana offer arrived Wednesday.

"Our defensive coordinator, Mike Rose, played at Indiana and he was up there a couple of weeks ago and he was talking to their coaching staff," Estep said. "So we sent some film up there. The coaches called me the other day and said ‘Hey we really like [Brown]; we just need to check some info out.' And then they called me yesterday and went ahead and made the offer."

Brown's father, Kelby Sr., played offensive guard for Northwestern, while his mother was an All-American basketball player for the Wildcats. Thus, playing linebacker for a Big Ten school is attractive to Brown.

With the offer, Brown is in the process of scheduling a trip to Bloomington. He already has plans established to visit Syracuse in two weeks.

"I'm really excited about [visiting Syracuse], because that's my first offer," Brown said. "I know they have awesome fans and they're rebuilding after a tough year last year."

Thus far, Brown has visited Maryland for its junior day and Duke for a spring practice and a basketball game.

"Duke is recruiting me pretty heavily," Brown said. "I like them a lot.

"Coach [David] Cutcliffe actually mentioned [a possible scholarship offer] the last time I was there. He said they want to see me in person."

Brown plans to camp at Duke, as well as North Carolina and Wake Forest.

Brown, who says he doesn't have any favorites, hopes to make a verbal commitment before the end of the summer.

"That would mean no pressure on me during my senior year," Brown said. "But if things don't work out that way, I'm fine going into my senior season [with my recruitment]."

The football program, academics, and proximity to home are the three important factors in Brown's collegiate decision. Brown, who maintains a 5.23 weighted grade-point average, is looking to major in pre-med.

Kelby Brown

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