It’s no secret Tulsa (Okla.) Union’s Tre Brown and OKC John Marshall’s Justin Broiles are ranked as the top two defensive backs in the state of Oklahoma.
Anyone who has followed recruiting knows full well this seemed to be the likely case after their respective junior seasons.
Slowly but surely, they made the leap. Broiles went from someone who sometimes did more talking with his mouth than his game and turned into a more polished product.
Brown went from an all-out speedburner to learning the intricacies of playing the defensive back position.
Maturing obviously helped both guys, but so did working with noted defensive backs trainer Clay Mack. The founder of QuickTwitch, Mack has sort of become the name to know around the Dallas market with guys like Jamal Adams (LSU), Ashton Preston (North Texas) and KD Cannon (Baylor).
Heck, OU went into the well before but didn’t pan out with former cornerback Marcus Green (now committed to Memphis for 2017 class).
OU is still eyeing a major Mack protégé in South Grand Prairie (Texas) High five-star athlete Jeffrey Okudah.
Mack has been working with Brown and Broiles on/off for more than a year, and he has definitely seen the signs of improvement.
“The biggest thing with Tre was the distance,” Mack said. “We had to do a lot of over the phone conversations. So it became like virtual workouts if you will. Now that I’ve had a chance to be with him more in person, seeing that progress.”
Mack knows not all recruits are the same. There are some skills he teaches to all across the board, but then he recognizes you have to hone in and figure it out with others. With Brown, he understood full well what needed to occur.
“He’s so explosive so once he sees it – it’s the one thing we’ve been working on – is his eye discipline,” Mack said. “Once he sees something, he then has the natural tools to get it done.
“So with him, I talk to him about rhythm and coordination and having the fluidity in his movements. Rhythm, coordination and balance – those are the things I want him to be aware of because he is that explosive.”
Broiles is a different animal. Mack said he doesn’t see a dramatic difference in terms of their talent but definitely in terms of what makes them who they are.
Mack has also been able to work with Broiles a lot more than Brown because of the natural connection Broiles has with family in the Dallas area.
Everybody knows about Broiles’ loud personality. Well, it doesn’t go away when it comes time to learning skills and perfecting his craft.
“To be honest, it was about enthusiastic he was about getting it right,” Mack said. “I have some of my big guys like Jeffrey Okudah and Baron Browning, and when he (Broiles) did something wrong, he wanted to get right back in there.
“If there were 10 guys in a line, he’d get eight of the reps. He hates to do something, and he wants to do it right. Not just once but multiple times. He wants to do it right enough to where he is comfortable to put it in his game.”
It has been a learning curve with Broiles, but Mack respects the passion and dedication the Scout 300 prospect has shown throughout the process.
“He’s so meticulous about what he is trying to get done,” Mack said. “He was actually exposed to some things he had never seen before. But he gravitated toward the pressure. When I see a kid respond like that, then I gravitate toward them.”