The Best and the Brightest

Delivering a heavy punch out on the football field, Charlotte Christian linebacker Kelby Brown also carries a big punch in the classroom. With four scholarship offers from top academic schools with solid football programs already under his belt, Brown is on his way to accomplish two of his goals.

MADISON – The way Kelby Brown has performed in the classroom at Charlotte Christian School, it would seem that the talented outside linebacker should be ciphering through full-ride academic scholarship instead of the ones of the athletic kind.

"I am just one of those guys that have always done well in school," Brown, who maintains a 5.23 weighted GPA and wants to major in pre-med, told Badger Nation. "Being able to get a good education and play for a good program are two important things to me."

So far, Brown (6-foot-2, 182 pounds) is on his way, getting scholarship offers from Syracuse, Indiana, Wisconsin and Duke, some of top schools in the country that have first-rate academics and athletics.

"Wisconsin is definitely the biggest offer I have received," said Brown. "I know that Wisconsin is quite a football program. They finished third in the Big Ten and they have some talented athletes."

With both of his parents having attended Northwestern, the conference's perception and history hasn't been lost on Brown; two things that were confirmed by the reaction of his father when the Badgers offered.

"I have been watching Big Ten football for awhile now and I know they are one of the best conferences for academics," Brown said. "A lot of my family went to Northwestern and in the Midwest so when I got that Wisconsin offer, my dad was really excited because it was from the Big Ten and a big time offer."

Seeing action at inside and outside linebacker last season as a junior in Christian's 3-4 defense, Brown, one of the team's captains, ended the season with CISAA All-Conference honors after totaling 86 tackles, including 11 for a loss and two sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown.

In addition to being named the team's defensive MVP, the biggest honor of last season was Charlotte Christian winning the NCISAA 11-Man state championship – two big reasons UW defensive coordinator Dave Doeren and safety coach Randall McCray have ventured into North Carolina in hopes of gaining Brown's services.

"I have talked to Coach Doeren a couple times and he's told me they need good linebackers," Brown said. "Coach McCray is just getting me fire up about Wisconsin and the program in general. He's a southern guy like me and he's a linebacker coach. He gets you fired up every time you talk to him."

In addition to Brown, the Badgers targeted teammate and good friend Ty Linton, being one of the first schools to offer the talented outside linebacker last October. Although having Midwest ties himself, Linton committed to play both baseball and football at North Carolina, a decision that Brown says won't affect his recruiting decision.

"We're good friends and we've gotten a lot of the same offers," Brown said. "We both think it would be pretty cool to play college football together, but we are not pushing for that. I know he's real excited to be going to North Carolina to play baseball and football, so we'll have to see what happens."

With only the North Carolina State camp scheduled for the summer, Brown will be busy visiting campuses. Planning to go to Duke and possibly Virginia and Vanderbilt, the big recruiting trip will be when he and my family go see Indiana, Wisconsin and Northwestern in one long excursion, visiting schools and family along the way.

After that lengthy trip, Brown should know which college best fits his thirst for big time football and academics.

"I am going to try and commit before football season, hopefully around late July," he said. "One is so I can go out there as a senior and really worry about winning games and not trying to get recruited. I just want to put that pressure off and just really enjoy that season."

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