Getting to the NFL means a little bit more to Malcom Brown than most. This defensive tackle standout from the University of Texas made his decision because he’s now a father and husband. Brown has been married now for nine months and has two daughter four-year step daughter and a six month old.
“It gives me more motivation,” Brown said. “I am not playing for myself anymore. I am supporting my family. I can’t think about just myself when making decisions. I have to think about my daughters and my wife."
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Brown’s grounded and comes across more mature than your average NFL draft prospect. He says that comes from his upbringing and the people he was around.
”I grew up around older folks and older people,” Brown said. “People say I am a young guy with an old soul but that’s just how I grew up. I know when to play and be serious. I also know responsibility."
The timing couldn’t have worked out better for Brown. He had a big time year for the Longhorns and has emerged as a lineman with versatility that the NFL scouts just love. You could plug him into any system.
“I just try and go with a high motor and be disruptive,” Brown said. “I just want to get where I am supposed to go as fast as I can. For me, I can play anywhere. I know how to play all the positions. I have played end and nose my first two years. I feel like I can do it all."
There have been some turbulent times in Austin. Long time coach Mack Brown left the program and Charlie Strong came in. Strong and his staff changed the culture. Along the way there were some ripple effects and roster turnover. But it didn’t faze Brown, as he was one of the guys that really hit things off well with Strong.
“He came in and made a real impact,” Brown said. “He came in with a lot of energy. He wants to put the program on top and we left a good foundation. Strong will get them back on top. He came in with the right mindset.”
At the end of the year there were even some outspoken Texas players in support of strong like cornerback Quandre Diggs. It was Diggs that said there were certain players that didn’t deserve to wear the Longhorn uniform.
”You are representing the state of Texas,” Brown said. “It’s more than just yourself. You can’t be selfish. Just because Texas is across your chest doesn’t mean you can’t show up. You have to show up and you have to play. I feel like that Quandre was right. If you step up like you are supposed to then you can be a great player. You have to take on that role just like Diggs said. It means a lot to the people that play hard.”
Strong did what he had to do. For Brown, he bought in from day one.
”When he first came in we hit it right off,” Brown said. “He didn’t hide anything from the get go. You couldn’t help but to like him. He said ‘I am going to do this and I do that don’t care what people think. He gave everybody a warning. It’s not his fault. People were getting kicked off [the team] but that’s their own fault because they kept making mistakes. He’s a great person."
Brown always set a good tempo and was a terrific leader for the team, especially in practice.
”I just go out and have fun,” Brown said. “We have a hard practice but I would always go in and have fun. The offensive linemen would always have a hard time blocking me and I would get them in trouble. I would just try and push them. The coaches would joke around with me about how hard I played and that they couldn’t get anything done. But it wasn’t my fault . I practice hard every time. I would tell them to have the offensive linemen to block me.”
Now Brown is at the NFL Combine and on the doorstep of being drafted, most likely in the first round. Soon, he will be able to talk care of his new family. Brown says he’s ready and I believe him.
"I could have another good year [staying at Texas] but it wasn’t about not about striking when iron is hot,” Brown said. “It’s more about talking with everyone and taking everything into consideration. I am just more comfortable with where I am at right now.”
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