Brown provides spark for Bobcats

ELLISVILLE, MS. – It is a long way from Kissimmee, Fla., to Ellisville. It's even further from Butler, Kan., to Kissimmee. That's one of the reasons Kwumaine "Bubba" Brown decided to transfer from Butler Community College to Jones County Junior College to continue his college career.

"I felt like my family wanted to watch me play, so this is a little closer to home for them," said Bubba Brown, who was a standout running back at Osceola High School. "This gives my family a chance to watch me and they did not have that chance when I was in Kansas.

"That played a big part in why I transferred. The offensive coordinator at Butler is a friend with the coaches here, so he helped me out."

And the Bobcat coaches are quite pleased to have the 5-foot-10, 195-pound running back on campus. Brown has carried 30 times for 212 yards and two touchdowns in JCJC's first two games. He ranks sixth in the state with 106.0 yards per game and averages 7.1 yards per carry. He also has three receptions for 51 yards.

JCJC is off to an 0-2 start with losses to Itawamba (21-7) and second-ranked East Mississippi (28-17). But Brown rushed for 155 yards on 18 carries vs. the Indians, including a 23-yard touchdown run, and added a 21-yard scoring jaunt vs. the Lions.

"I'm doing OK, but all of the credit goes to my O-line," he said. "I've never had one like it basically. They are all competitive and go out there fearless in every game, which I like. "I try to make it easier for them."

Against Itawamba, Brown took a handoff and did not have to fight too much to make it into the end zone for his first touchdown as a Bobcat. The second one against EMCC was a bit more difficult.

"The first touchdown was wide open with great blocking by teammates," he said. "I just read the hole and hit it. The second one was kind of a determined touchdown run. I just had to do what it took to get in the end zone."

Brown said there is a lot of difference between growing up in the Orlando suburb of Kissimmee and Ellisville. But he said the Bobcats are a close-knit group, which has helped with the transition.

"It's different, but it is similar, too," he said. "The team I came from in high school was pretty tight, like a family, and I feel like we've got the same thing here. We've got a great group of guys and you are going to see us come together."

JCJC will be seeking its first win of the season when they host the Co-Lin Wolves at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Brown is confident the fans will like what they see when they come into Bobcat Stadium/Sim Cooley Field on Saturday night.

"Basically, we are going to play like we practice and we are practicing hard every day. We are trying to emphasize that, carrying it over into the games. There has been a big difference this week.

"We will show what we can do this week."

Brown has been pleased with his progress at JCJC.

He credits the atmosphere at school with helping him make the adjustment.

"Everything has been fine," he said. "Everybody is cool from the teachers to the administration to the coaches. Everybody is one.

"I enjoy myself. I miss home a little bit, but I'm here for a reason."

Brown piled up some gaudy statistics in high school and was regarded as one of the state's top prospects following his 2007 senior season at Osceola.

As a senior in high school, he carried 294 times for 2,405 yards and 44 touchdowns. He averaged 8.2 yards per carry and was second runnerup for "Mr. Football" in the state of Florida that year.

As a junior in 2006, he rushed for 1,150 yards and 10 touchdowns. He currently holds the single season scoring record for the state of Florida and is tied for the most touchdowns scored in a season with the late Shaun Taylor and Antwoine Smith.

He had offers from Central Florida and West Virginia, but elected to sign with Kansas State University. He was placed into Butler for the 2008 season, but did not play because his paperwork was not finalized in time.

Now, he is a redshirt freshman at JCJC and is still drawing the attention of senior colleges. But Brown said he is not worried about that at this point.

"I have a couple of schools in mind, but I am just trying to focus on this junior college season," he said. "(Senior college) is going come about and that is going to be there. I just have to be patient."

For starters, Brown and his teammates are focusing on getting off to a good start in South Division play vs. Co-Lin this weekend.

"We are looking at it like we are still undefeated because it's our first division game. We just need to play as one," he said. "If we play as one, I feel like we will stop them. When we start doing individual things, the team breaks down as the game goes on.

"But if we play as one for four quarters, I don't think we can be stopped."

JCJC will honor its three state championship teams – men's basketball, women's basketball and women's tennis – from this past athletic season during halftime of Saturday's games.

Also, the JCJC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2009 will be inducted this weekend.

The class consists of Gwen Magee (softball), L.D. Ready (basketball, tennis), Jerry K. "Sally" Smith (basketball), Aubrey Wade (football) and Patricia Waldrup (cheerleading).

There will be a banquet and induction ceremony at 6 p.m. on Friday in Bobcat Gymnasium and the group will be recognized during halftime of Saturday's game.

The game will be shown live on with Lance Pittman on the play-by-play and Mark Easley providing color commentary. Airtime is at 6:30 p.m. Fans can also listen to the game on WGDQ-FM, 93.1.

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