B. Brown

Senior DB B. Brown can play any position in the secondary, can return punts and kicks and cover on punts and kicks. All with the trust of the Ole Miss coaches. He is considered a "starter" by the Rebel mentors. It doesn't bother him that he is technically not a starter. He understands his role and importance to the team. Read about it inside.

In team athletics at all levels, there is a built-in pride or sense of accomplishment to being tagged a "starter."

Senior jack of all trades B. Brown does not dismiss that status as inconsequential even though he is not technically a starter, because in the eyes of his teammates and coaches he has that distinction.

"I believe I'm one of the most athletic players on the team and I feel my teammates and coaches respect that and have a high opinion of me," said B. in a recent interview. "It has bothered me in the past that I haven't taken over one position, so to speak, but then I realized I'm more valuable to the team being able to do a lot of different things when needed."

For 2006, B. will be a primary backup at every secondary position, he will be the nickel back, he will be ready to return punts and kickoffs because of his sure hands and a knack for making the right moves with the ball in his hands, and he will be on all coverage teams.

"I'm proud of all of that because it's difficult to learn and master all those different jobs," he explained. "I expect my role to be expanded in 2006. It wouldn't surprise me if I got as many reps as anyone - on special teams, as a nickel back, giving the DBs some needed rest. If someone gets hurt, I'm in there. It will all add up to a lot of snaps."

B. takes pride in his versatility because it is a formidable feat and because his coaches promote his value to the team and treat him like the team leader he is.

"(Secondary) Coach (Chris) Rippon and (Secondary Assistant) Coach (Tony) Hughes are always encouraging me and treating me well," Brown said. "They tell me I am valuable in the role I am in and I believe them. I think there is a lot of value in knowing that if someone needs a rest or is injured that his position won't miss a beat because I'm there ready to fill in.

"I take pride in my role as a leader to the younger guys. On the field, I'm kind of like (FS) Charles Clark - I have the knowledge I need to help the younger guys out and to do my job. Knowing all the positions in the secondary makes me valuable to the young guys too. I can answer just about any question they have and encourage them in the right way."

That B. ended up solely on defense at several positions is something that just morphed into what it is today. There was no master plan in the beginning, but he found a home and a niche and stuck with it.

"I was a quarterback in high school and had never played much defense at all, but I figured out pretty quickly that defense was my ticket at Ole Miss and in the SEC," said B., who possesses a 40-inch-plus vertical jump. "It's all worked out great for me. I have no regrets."

B. was filling in as the starting strong safety in spring training while starter Jamarca Sanford rehabbed. He had a good spring, but it was cut short with a knee injury and broken bone in his thumb. All is well now.

"I had scope surgery recently and everything is fine. My thumb has also healed after a few weeks in a cast," he said. "I should be full speed by mid-June."

When B. first came to Ole Miss, he tried to play football and basketball, but it was just too much.

"I proved to myself I could play basketball, which I really love, on this level, but I just couldn't handle it all my freshman year," he explained. "If I had been more settled in at Ole Miss, if I had waited until maybe my sophomore or junior year to try two sports, it might have worked out, but I wasn't prepared as a freshman to never get to go home and that's the situation I was in," Brown explained. "I don't regret it, but I do miss basketball at that level."

B. has somewhat compensated for that hole in his athletic career by being the leader of "Da Squad," his intramural team that has won three straight Ole Miss intramural basketball championships.

"It's me and Mico (McSwain), (Michael) Oher, Dedrick (Clark), Ethan (Flatt) and (Michael) Hicks," he smiles. "I'm the point guard. In past years, I've also had Lorenzo Townsend, Taye Biddle and Eric Oliver. We've never lost."

In fact, one time "Da Squad" squared off against the Ole Miss hoops team in a summer charity event. They lost by six points.

"We had a chance to win," he says.

A chance to win is all B. is looking for in football. He has confidence his final season will be a good one for the Rebels.

"We are still putting the puzzle together, but if everything falls in place, we can be real good. That's what we are expecting," he closed.

And you can bet B. Brown will be right in the middle of it, helping his team any way he can and in any role the coaches ask him to play.

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