Bad, Bad Levi Brown

Temple defensive tackle Levi Brown is laid-back and good-natured off the field. But in talking about the redshirt sophomore's strengths, defensive coordinator Chuck Heater praised his "orneriness." It's a change in attitude Brown admits occurs when he lines up against a different-colored jersey. That's when the affable soph turns into Bad, Bad Levi Brown. Baddest man in the whole damn town.

Temple defensive tackle Levi Brown is laid-back and good-natured off the football field.

But in talking about the redshirt sophomore's strengths, defensive coordinator Chuck Heater praised his "orneriness."

It's a change in attitude Brown admits occurs when he lines up against a different-colored jersey.

That's when the affable sophomore turns into Bad, Bad Levi Brown. The Baddest man in the whole damn town.

Badder than old King Kong. Meaner than a Junkyard Dog.

"I like to think I'm a nice guy off the field, but when I get on the field during the game I get a little angry," said Brown. "It's do-or-die and that's my whole attitude."

Heater agreed Brown's on-field persona plays well, especially for an interior lineman constantly locking up with opposing blockers.

"He's a talented player, big thick body in there and there's times on early downs you need those kinds of bodies in there," said Heater. "He's been great that way. He's had a real steady year and he has a little toughness, a mental side that bodes well for him. You like having that demeanor in the huddle and on the field. He has a little orneriness to him that's a good thing."

Brown plays a position that doesn't always receive a ton of accolades. Linebackers rack up tackles, ends collect sacks and tackles draw double-teams.

The sophomore's 22 tackles, including three for loss, with a hurry and forced fumble in 12 games doesn't indicate his importance to the team.

"Not one person grows up wanting to be a nose tackle," said Heater. "You want to be the quarterback or the running back. It's a journeyman kind of position, but it's an important position and he's done a nice job for us."

It's the only position the 6-foot-2, 305-pounder has ever known, and he admits it suits him.

"I like being in the middle, I feel like the anchor sometimes and I like that feeling, getting double-teamed," said Brown. "I've been doing it since I was 14, since I started playing football. It's what I'm used to, free up my linebackers and let them make the plays. That's how I get my glory."

Brown is following in the footsteps of Eli Joseph and Andre Neblett, who helped show him the way the last few years. After backing up Joseph last year, Brown felt it was his time to show what he could do.

"I learned so much from Eli and even (true) freshman year, watching guys like ‘Dre and Brian Sanford play," said Brown. "It enabled me to pick things up and watch a lot of great defensive tackles play before me. I was ready to play this year. It's been two years. I've been ready to go."

Head coach Steve Addazio appreciates Brown's passion for the game, and his importance to the defensive scheme.

"He's really developed fundamentally," said Addazio. "He enjoys the game. When you watch him play. … the line of scrimmage has to move one way or the other, and obviously when we're on defense we want to move it. I think he does a great job of that."

As a redshirt two years ago, Brown was on the sideline for the EagleBank Bowl. He'll have his opportunity to play in his first bowl game Saturday against Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl.

"I'm very excited," said Brown. "Two years ago was a good experience, but playing in the game will be a lot different. It will feel a lot better, and I'm sure it will be a big difference."

After all, this year, the likable Brown will have to bring along his alter-ego.

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