One player to keep an eye on at this weekend's 7-on-7 passing camp will be Steel Valley running back Marlon Brown (5-10, 160). Steel Valley, despite being a Class AA school, will have a high volume of players that will allow itself to to compete against some bigger schools. They showed that last week with a win over Woodland Hills, who hosted the Red Bull Game Breakers 7-on-7.
It may be a different result in full pads in the regular season, but players like Brown feel competing and doing well against top competition in the offseason are helping him and his teammates right now.
"We work hard in practice every single day," Brown said. "We fight through the heat, do whatever we have to do to stay together as a unit. It's paying off. Hard work pays off."
Brown will play a number of positions this year for the Ironmen, including running back, fullback, corner and possibly safety. He's talked to a couple of schools so far in his recruitment, Pitt being one of them.
"I have gone to a couple of the Pitt practices," Brown said. "I like Pitt. I like the new program and everything. I love Pitt. I would love to go there. My grades are good."
Being flexible is good for him and his team, but might cause some questions as to which position he might play at the next level. Even so, he is open to that.
"Honestly, if it were up to me, I'd be at running back," Brown said. "That's just my heart. I can do defensive back too. A lot of that will depend on my size, but I'm going to work hard in the weight room."
Brown knows whether it was last week at Woodland Hills, or this weekend at Pitt, he and his teammates rely heavily on each other for the future. That future includes winning championships, and hopefully earning scholarships. He feels his program is heading for big things. He talked more about that work ethic instilled in his team, and the importance of it showing up. This weekend at Pitt for the 7-on-7 camp is another good opportunity.
"We stick together through thick and thin," Brown said. "Somebody might go off, or might not want to be at practice. We pull them together; we are going to do whatever we have to do to win. It's what we have to do to go to the states (championship game). We have to come together as a unit."