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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

By Sammy Batten

Incoming QB cast from familiar mold

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

South Stanly High School was already four games into its 2008 season and had a major-college prospect playing quarterback when Desi Brown transferred in from rival North Stanly.

Brown had been the starting quarterback at North Stanly as a sophomore and was generally regarded as one of the county's best athletes, having starred in football, basketball and track.

But due to the presence of Detric Allen, South Stanly coach Luke Little decided to use Brown at wide receiver and safety. That all changed in the eighth game of the year against Monroe High School when Allen suffered an ankle injury and Brown was inserted at quarterback.

“He came in midway through the third quarter and actually threw a touchdown pass against Monroe,'' Little said. “He really just kind of took over, running and throwing the football.''

South Stanly went on to 28-21 triumph and would earn a berth in the state 1-A playoffs with Brown leading the way.

It's that kind of clutch performance that drew the interest of the East Carolina Pirates to Brown, according to Little.

“They (ECU) had actually already offered Detric (a scholarship),'' Little said. “But we sent film up there on Desi. I've never had a D-I quarterback before, so I didn't know if he fit the mold or not. But they were pretty impressed by his film. One of their coaches stopped by our workouts in the spring and they offered him on the spot.''

Brown would eventually receive other offers from Arkansas and Louisville as well as some serious interest from Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Wake Forest.

But the Pirates won the race, receiving a verbal commitment from Brown last weekend.

“I had talked to my dad and my coaches about it,'' Brown said. “East Carolina is a really good school and the football program is pretty good, too. I just decided it was the best place for me.''

The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder has 4.57-second speed in the 40-yard dash. Brown used that speed to rush for 517 yards and six touchdowns after taking over as South Stanly's starting quarterback last season. He also threw for 923 yards and seven more scores.

Little compares Brown's style as a quarterback to current ECU starter Patrick Pinkney.

“He's a lot like Pinkney,'' Little said. “He's real athletic. He can run. He's got a real strong arm. But he's just real raw at quarterback. He hasn't had a lot of work there besides just playing. I think they (ECU) like the fact he's got a lot of untouched potential.''

Brown began his prep career at North Stanly where he quarterbacked the junior varsity as a ninth grader before a call-up to the varsity. He became the varsity starter a year later and was handling that same role last season before circumstances beyond his control led to the move to South Stanly.

“My Dad had been looking for a place to stay and the only place we could find was in the South Stanly district,'' Brown said. “We really didn't have any other choice but to switch schools.

“I knew Detric already, and I knew he was a pretty good quarterback. I just figured I wouldn't have too much time at quarterback. So I just settled on having a role on the team at wide receiver or safety or cornerback or something.''

Little said Brown isn't only a great athlete, he's a natural born leader.

“The kids really follow him,'' Little said. “He's one of the first ones every time we do our running. He's always out front. He's one of the strongest players we've got. The kids all look up to him and respect him.''

What's not to respect?

Not only is Brown a superb football player, he's also good enough at basketball to be considered a prospect at the small-college level after averaging about 14 points a game last season.

In track and field, Brown competes in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, the 4x400-meter relay and the long jump. He placed sixth at the state meet last spring in the 110-meter hurdles and was seventh in the 300.

“I was thinking about trying to play football and basketball in college,'' Brown said. “I'm still giving that some thought.''

One of the advantages ECU had over other schools recruiting Brown is that the coaching staff promised him a chance to play quarterback.

“He was willing to go to a lower level to play quarterback,'' Little said. “But luckily East Carolina was sold on him as a quarterback.''

Brown will also play quarterback at South Stanly next fall, despite the return of a healthy Allen.

“I'm going to be the starting quarterback next year and he's going to play wide receiver and safety,'' Brown said. “He said he was fine with it and it's not going to be a problem.''

Allen, a 6-1, 180-pounder, is also considering the Pirates. But Little said at the moment he believes Allen is favoring Duke and Virginia.

“Both those kids are very smart,'' Little said. “They've both scored over 1,000 on their SAT's and have 3.8 GPAs.''

E-mail Sammy Batten.

Sammy Batten's Archives

07/01/2009 02:13:44 AM


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