New Hanover head coach
Kevin Motsinger had one word for senior offensive tackle C.J. Brown
during the 2007 season when scholarship offers were pouring in for
high-profile teammate Nick Becton.
told the 6-foot-5, 295-pound Brown, who played the tackle position
opposite Becton, a first-team all-state pick and Shrine Bowl all-star
who committed to Virginia Tech in December. Becton had entertained
offers from the likes of Alabama, East Carolina, N.C. State, Penn State
and South Carolina before choosing the Hokies.
Brown, however, was still
without a major-college scholarship offer of any sort entering January,
even though Motsinger believes he’s in the same class as Becton as a
“I was frustrated
throughout the year because I didn't feel like people were giving him
the looks he deserved,’’ Motsinger said. “I just kept telling him to be
patient and his time would come. It did.’’
The result was worth the
wait when East Carolina came through with a scholarship offer. Brown
accepted the opportunity last weekend while in Greenville on an official
recruiting visit. He chose the Pirates despite increasing interest from
Georgia Tech and its new head coach, Paul Johnson.
The decision came as a
relief to Brown, a three-year varsity starter at New Hanover.
“I feel really good right
now,’’ Brown said Monday morning. "I feel like a weight has been lifted
off my chest.
“For a minute there I
didn’t know where I was going to go. East Carolina started showing
interest in me like the fourth or fifth game of my senior season. But
that didn’t develop into anything until about two weeks ago. I went
there for my official visit and I just felt like there was a family
atmosphere in Greenville. It was the right place for me.’’
Brown is the 12th player
to join the Pirates' recruiting class and he’s the fourth offensive
lineman. Bolstering the depth in its blocking corps has been one of the
priorities for ECU in recruiting this year.
Snaring a scholarship to a
Bowl Subdivision (formerly I-A) program is something Brown has worked
diligently for since enrolling at New Hanover as a freshman.
“My ninth-grade year I was
horrible, and my 10th-grade year I wasn’t all that either,’’ said Brown,
who was a varsity starter as a sophomore. “But I think when I was a
sophomore is when I started thinking about how to improve my play.
“I just started working
hard at it. I knew I wasn’t a top blocker, and I wanted to be one of the
best in the state. I went to a few camps, I started working hard in the
weight room and doing drills to help my footwork with Coach Motsinger. I
even worked with a track coach.’’
Motsinger arrived at New
Hanover following Brown’s sophomore season. He inherited a pair of big,
talented offensive linemen in Becton and Brown. Becton, however, was
just starting his football career after previously concentrating on
basketball. Brown had been used primarily as a pass blocker under the
previous coaching staff and needed to learn about run blocking.
“Maybe two or three times
a game they ran the football,’’ Motsinger said. “It was all pass, pass,
pass. So they had the pass blocking down pat. But they had to be taught
to run block, to fire off the ball and to stay low.’’
Both players learned
quickly, but it was the 6-6, 285-pound Becton who became a star among
college recruiters. Instead of pouting about his lack of attention,
Brown became Becton’s biggest booster.
“I was just happy for
him,’’ Brown said. “That’s my best friend. We’ve known each other since
middle school. I just kept believing my time would come.’’
Motsinger believes Brown’s
best football is ahead of him. Brown just recently turned 17 and will
only get bigger and stronger.
“He’s very raw and very
young,’’ Motsinger said. “But he has unbelievable feet. I think when
they get him involved in their weight program and begin teaching him,
he’s going to be a great player. He’s blessed with great athletic
ability and intelligence.’’
Brown will reunite in
Greenville with former New Hanover teammate Jay Ross, who’ll be a junior
defensive lineman with the Pirates next fall. The Pirates are expected
to play Brown at either guard or tackle.
“I’ve got a great work
ethic and I really come off the ball,’’ Brown said. “I’ll do whatever
they ask me to do.’’
thumbnail sketches of all players verbally committed to join ECU's
recruiting class of 2008.]