FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Brown ready to anchor 2020 Jenks defense
A year ago, A.J. Brown was a sophomore and thrown into the fire as the starting nose tackle for the Jenks defense.
Brown weighed around 250 pounds and struggled early in the year against older, more experienced offensive linemen.
As the season went on, Brown said he began to trust his coaches and trust his teammates around him that he could go up against his opponents and do well.
“I was somewhat scared at first because these guys have two or three years-experience and I am just coming into this,” Brown said. “After a couple of games, those fears went away, and I realized I can hang with these guys. I got enough confidence to just go out and do my thing.”
Brown said the defense made a huge jump from the start of the season to the last part of the year in 2019.
“We were young and didn’t know how to handle our business,” Brown said. “As we started to get more experience, we started playing well and played our best in the playoffs. That still wasn’t good enough though, so we need to keep it going from last year to this year.”
The Jenks junior is now weighing around 290 pounds and is faster than he was a year ago.
“I am a lot more prepared now than I was a year ago because I know what to expect,” Brown said. “I am definitely a lot stronger and a lot bigger, so I won’t get pushed around. I have to step up and be a leader now, so not only am I looking out for myself, I am also looking out for my teammates, who are younger than me.”
Brown said Jenks can accomplish its goals in 2020 if they do two things.
“We have to play with a lot more discipline and structure this year if we want to accomplish our goals,” Brown said.