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At the Pee Wee level of Pop Warner, Keyon Brown might not have realized that football was for him, but he soon came to understand he was blessed with a special ability.
Hardee's 6-foot-2, 229-pound defensive end says, "I was terrified of football when I was young, but then I started to see how I was actually good at it, and I decided it's what I wanted to do. I love the sport and feel like I don't have to worry about anything else when I'm playing it."
Fast-forward to today and Brown is ranked number 77 in the Rivals Top 250. According to his coach, he's also a great guy.
"Keyon's an awesome kid," said Hardee coach Buddy Martin. "He's a great prospect on the football field but an even better kid. He's fun to be around, laid back, easy going, always yes and no sir, although he doesn't say no sir very much."
Brown echoes his coach's sentiments regarding being laid back saying, "I'm an easy going guy and like to relax until it's time to play football."
Martin went on to boast more about his star player.
"He has a 3.2 GPA, 19 on the ACT, very good student, just an awesome young man," he added. "He's the leader of our football team and our kids look to him and they go the way he goes, and the way he goes we go."
As far as the football field goes, Brown, who runs a 4.77 in the 40, squats 480 and has a 33-inch vertical, admits his strengths are 'pass rushing, using my hands, and getting off the ball.'
When asked about his weaknesses, he says "I would say run stopping and I need to improve on my speed. I think getting faster would help me out a lot."
As far as goals for his senior season, he's looking to have a monster year.
"This past season I had 20 sacks if you count the four I had in the spring game," he said. "This season I'd like to get 25 and I want our team to get to the playoffs."
Brown was leaning towards Miami but he didn't like everyone assuming that was where he'd end up.
"So right now I'm just leaving it open and I probably won't start narrowing it down until after my senior football season," he explained.
Brown will be participating at the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour this Saturday in Orlando.