An Interview With Ryan Brown

We had a chance to catch up to the Gamecocks' true freshman linebacker signee out of the lowcountry. Here is what he had to say ...

Ryan Brown Bio: 6-2 240 Bench 400, Squat 475, 4.50 flat, Verticle 33"

What are you best attributes as a football player?

"I think my best attributes are making plays. I can make big plays, because of my speed I can go sideline to sideline and also because of my speed I can cover well across the middle on the pass routes. Plus I love contact."

Ryan, you were hobbled your sophomore and junior seasons in high school with an injury. Would you mind talking to us about what happened and how the injury is coming along now?

"Well, I first hurt my ankle the beginning of my sophomore year against a team ... it was just football ... a guy who hit me from the side and it sort of caused problems. I knew I was hurt and I knew it was more than a sprain because I had had plenty of sprains before - I'm talking about my ankle. I went to the doctor and he said to just let it heal on it's own because I was so young. But then the next year I was out there playing and I was actually playing tight end at the time, and I planted wrong and the bone in my foot snapped. So I went to a new doctor and he said I should have had surgery on it the first time - that the new break was actually a rebreak. So they put pins in the bone. It's in great shape now. I have no pain and I am running on it fine and doing squats like nothing ever happened."

That's great news. So how are your grades? Everything okay in that regard?

"My grades are fine right now. I made a 1080 on my SAT, and I don't really know my cumalitive GPA right now but I'll be fine with that. No worries whatsoever. No problems. I am qualified."

You had a lot of programs looking at you. What made you choose South Carolina?

"It is all about how the players reacted to each other while I was there ... how close they are. I mean most of the other teams tried to act that way but at South Carolina it is natural. I knew if I signed with them they would take care of me and I would take care of them. I didn't want to go up there and feel like I was all by myself. I went to some schools and felt like there were maybe a player or two at my position who was worried about me being recruited for their position or something. There were some schools where I visited where you could tell the coaches were trying to make the players put on a 'togetherness show' for the new recruits, but you could tell something was wrong with that. At South Carolina it is a very geniune feeling of a family atmosphere up there. There's no faking it."

We hear your Mom was a major factor in the decision too. Tell us about that if you will?

"My Mom says she really likes it up there. You know Jabari Levey is up there and his Mom and my Mom are cousins so they are planning on making a lot of trips together for games and stuff like that. She's real excited about me coming up there."

What schools offered you scholarships Ryan - and what other schools did you officially visit? There have been Clemson sites that claimed their staff never offered you incase you were not aware of that?

"They are wrong, but it doesn't really matter what they think - I guess I should have expected that. Off the top of my head Clemson, North Carolina State, Florida, Ohio State, Penn State, Maryland, Wake Forest and North Carolina all offered. I think there were a couple more but I can't remember them all. I only visited Clemson and South Carolina officially."

Okay, another tough question. There have been rumors that Charlie Strong called you after he had departed South Carolina to recruit you for Florida. Give us the skinny.

"Charlie Strong never called me after he left South Carolina. I guess he wouldn't feel right about calling me down there after he had just left South Carolina. Larry Fedora was my recruiter from Florida."

Where do the USC coaches plan on playing you ... inside or outside?

"The coaches have told me it doesn't matter where they play me. They tell me that I have the size and strength to play inside but the speed to play outside so I'll just wait to get there to see where they want to play me and I'll go from there."

Are you staying in shape?

"I started my USC workout last week."

Coach Moorer's workout? We hear it is a bear!

"Oh yeah ... it's a real tough workout. I'm tired now from it but I know it will help me to prepare for when I get there."

Are you planning on reporting early?

"I don't know. I was talking to my Mom about that but I don't know yet. I think I want to stay home for half of the summer and then come up for the second half and workout with the team. We'll see. My mom is a single parent and she might need me around the house ... and if she does I want to help her as long as she needs me here. I usually help her catch-up on housework and things like that over the summer and I can't let her down. We depend on each other. She tells me to go start my new life but she only tells me that because she loves me. I know I have things around here that are my responsibility and then as soon as I take care of those for her I'll be there working out with the team."

Okay let's talk about the transition from one recruiter to the other and how it affected you. First please tell our fans who your first recruiter was and then talk about who replaced him if you don't mind.

"Charlie Strong was my recruiter, but when he left Chris Cosh took over and he did a real good job. I like him a lot. He's crazy. He's got great enthusiasm. I really like him a lot. He came in for my home visit this year and my Mom really likes him too. I know he teaches linebackers to have the basics and fundementals down. He tries not to make it so complicated so that you can concentrate on simple things and that's the way it should be. Simplier is better."

How did you do your senior season at Berkeley?

"I had three interceptions, six caused fumbles and I recovered five of those. I forgot how many sacks I had but I had quite a few. I wasn't in a groove until about three or four games into the season because I had missed so much time the past two seasons. But once I got on track it started coming back to me and I still finished strong enough to play in the Shrine Bowl."

Who was your host on your visit?

"Jabari Levey was my host at South Carolina, he's my cousin so I felt real comfortable with him."

You only made two official visits ... talk about the first one.

"I actually had a fun time at Clemson. I got to learn more about their players than I thought I would. They showed me a lot I guess you could say. I liked the coaches up there also. It's .... well, it wasn't bad. But I knew I wasn't going to go there because the whole time I was at Clemson all I could think about was my next visit to USC and how I couldn't wait to get there. It had to do with atmosphere let me leave it at that."

Are you planning on playing as a true freshman at USC?

"I don't know yet. Anything could happen. It just depends upon how fast I can get up there and adapt to the system. The things I know I can do are tackle and run and hit ... but I also know there is a lot to adjust to, the speed of the game and the size of the competition. I don't yet but I intend to come up there and work hard and we'll see how it goes. I will do my best to play early but I know the game changes a lot at that level and I have a lot to learn from Coach Cosh."

Anything you would like to say to the Gamecock fans reading this?

"I sure would. Please tell them thank you for being there for me, I knew all along they wanted me there because a lot of fans would just walk up to me and say things like Go Cocks and things like that. It was easy to see where I needed to go. And I won't let them down. I hope they'll be there next year for our season, like always, cheering for us ... and I just know we are going to have a good team they can be proud of."

Then we had the opportunity to speak with Jerry Brown, Ryan's coach at Berkeley high school. Coach Brown has put more than 40 players in college programs as a head coach - so we wanted his opinion of his latest Gamecock signee.

Coach ... tell us about Ryan from your perspective please.

"Well he's got good size, good strength, good speed. The physcial attributes are there. And to his credit he was coming off of two years of being injured but he worked hard and came on real strong the last part of the season."

Good character? Good work ethic?

"He's well behaved. He doesn't have any discipline problems. He's very well mannered. You'll never have to worrry about his character. He works hard in the weight room. He's good at track & field too as shot putter, discus, stuff like that."

Anything else? (we laugh - It's always difficult to pry information from Coach Brown every year.)

"He played in the Shrine Bowl as a tight end and defensive tackle. It would be hard to say where he might end up in college. He's probably slightly under a 4.6 forty right now ... I think he may have lost a little speed after the injury."

In your opinion why did he choose South Carolina over the others?

"Jabari and Ryan are real good friends. They are real close, like brothers."

Thanks Coach

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