Arthur Brown, LB, 6'3, 225, 4.49, WICHITA (EAST HS), KANSAS:
In today's age of college football excitement surrounds a great linebacker just as much as a great running back. In fact, a great linebacker many times gains more respect because of his athletic ability and toughness. A great linebacker is the heart-and-soul of a defense and many times will set the tone of the defense. When you consider the wide open offenses that every defense in the country now faces, having great linebackers that can cover and yet be their traditional physical self at the point of attack is critical for success on the defensive side of ball.
That is why Arthur Brown is one of the most respected defensive players in the country. Regarded by many the top linebacker prospect in the country, Brown has the type of all-around ability that every linebacker coach in the country is looking for. Blessed with great size, strength and speed, Brown is the prototypical inside linebacker in today's college football world.
Arhtur has been a household name in prep football since his sophomore year, but now that he is looked upon as one of the top players in the country Brown admits it is a great feeling to know that people respect his game.
"It is always good to hear positive things about yourself," said Brown. "To me, I feel like it is a blessing to just be mentioned as one of the top players and top prospects in the country. I really don't get big-headed about it. I take it all in stride as it is just a blessing to be mentioned in that kind of way. I never imagined I would be in the predicament that I am in now. It is an honor and I really feel like I am at the maximum of what I thought I could be. It is just a great feeling to be where I am and to be recognized like I have been."
Brown says he will start his off-season workouts around March 1 and he expects to improve on his 315-pound bench and 465-pound squat.
So which linebacker position will Brown play in college? He feels he can play all three linebacker positions, but he admits that he does have his favorite.
"I have heard a lot of people and I have had a lot of coaches talk to me about playing middle linebacker," said Brown. "I am really like a rover because I like to move around. I am not the kind of player that likes to sit in one spot. I like to move around to get the offense confused so that so that they can't key on me or lock on me where I am going to be at. So I think I am more of an outside type of linebacker."
While Brown has some bone-jarring tackles that folks in Wichita still talk about, it is his ability to drop in pass coverage that sets him apart from most at his position.
"I think I am great at covering the tight ends," said Brown. "In the summer, I work with the cornerbacks and train on my cornerback skills to be able to do so. I feel I am pretty good at doing that."
Arthur and his brother Bryce attended the OU camp last summer. Bryce is considered one of the top running backs in the 2009 class and it was at that camp where they went from being local stars in Wichita to nationally-known coast-to-coast.
"That camp was great," said Brown. "When we first got down to the camp the first thing we got to do was meet with all the coaches. The first day was basically a run through and a test day with all the other athletes that were down there. That was just the warm up for the second day. That was a great day for me because I ran a 4.47 40 at the Oklahoma camp. The last day was the day that I started to notice all the attention and realized that I am doing pretty well down here. That was really the day that I started to notice all the attention. My brother had a great camp as well. He ran a 4.32."
The Brown brothers didn't make it up for the OU Junior Day, but they do plan to see Norman many times in the future.
"I have been to Norman three or four times," said Brown. "The atmosphere at an OU football game is wonderful. The fans are always hyped and fired up and that is always good. I feel comfortable at OU and that is always a good thing too. I am not sure when I will get up to Norman again. I don't know if I will make it up for the next Junior Day or not, but I am interested in OU. I just don't know how my schedule is looking right now, but I am definitely going to try to make it back down there. I think we will be back down there for summer camp for a day or two."
Brown says has been offered by too many schools to count.
"Recently, Michigan and Rutgers offered me," said Brown. "I have also been offered by Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, and OU. There are many other schools, but I can't think of them off the top of my head. Right now I am keeping all my options open and I don't have a top five."
So what are his general thoughts on Oklahoma?
"When I enter Oklahoma I can feel the comfort. That is one of the things that I am going to be looking at," said Brown. "That is going to be one of the key things when I choose a school. The comfort level at OU is great and I greatly appreciate it. I also love the coaches down there. I really think I fit well with the program and the coaches."
Brown admits that he is intrigued by the fact that OU always seems to have outstanding linebackers under the direction of OU Defensive Coordinator and linebacker coach Brent Venables.
"I feel no matter where I go I can benefit and contribute to that team greatly," said Brown. "I do look at the success a team has had at linebacker, and I do want to play under a coach that has had success developing linebackers into something special. I especially want to play for a coach who has turned out Butkus Award winners. Winning that award is a goal of mine in the future."
Bryce will be as heavily recruited next year and big question is whether they want to play at the same school in college?
"It would be great playing with my brother like I have been for the last six years," said Brown. "But what is best for me might not be the best for him and vice versa. It is just a time thing that we will have to wait and see how everything works out."
Many college coaches wish Bryce was eligible to be recruited right now. Last season, Bryce (6'2, 208, 4.3) proved to already be a man among boys rushing for 2,039 yards and 27 touchdowns. That followed a tremendous freshman season when he rushed for 1,411 yards and 15 touchdowns. The brothers are each others best friends and the older brother doesn't mind bragging on the younger brother, especially when he is already considered one of the best running back prospects in the country.
"I will say quote on quote that he is the best running back prospect out of the 2007, 2008 and his class," said Brown. "He is the best running back that I have played against. It is all a mental game with him just knowing that he can do whatever he wants to do, regardless of what is in his way or who is in his way. He can do what he wants regardless of anything. He has special athletic ability and it is his speed, explosiveness and quickness that that sets him apart. For me, it is like playing against someone that thinks like me and has the same athletic ability as me, It is exhilarating for me to think about how good he is and how good he can be."
Since the Brown brothers joined Wichita East they have improved from 2-9 to 4-5 to 6-4 last year.
Thus far, the Brown brothers have taken unofficial visits to OU, Kansas State and Nebraska. We have heard what Arthur thinks of OU, but how about Kansas State.
"I really like Kansas State," said Brown. "I like the energy that the crowd had and I really like the coaching staff. The campus is real nice and it is not to large, and the student body is not to large. I feel comfortable there."
How about Nebraska?
"As of right now Nebraska has the nicest facilities that I have seen," said Arthur. "That really made an impact on my thoughts about them. As for their team, I feel they were pretty good this year and I think they are a competitive program. I really like them."
It is no guarantee that a school will get Bryce if they sign Arthur, but their odds certainly improve. Both brothers are very level-headed and both are going to enjoy the recruiting process, and you can bet the entire college football world will be watching. Both brothers admit they like OU and Bryce seems to like OU a great deal. However, Arthur is going to take his time in making his decision and his younger brother gets to watch Arthur go through the recruiting process. And that will be a good thing for both.
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