Hurricane player wins Howley Award | Newspaper
Over the years, Hurricane has fielded a number of notable linebackers – names like Payton Lunsford, JT Cooper, Chris Holsopple, Jonathan Horn, Matt Hartsog and Mike Williams.
But Brogan Brown did something neither of them ever did. He was selected as the top linebacker in West Virginia High School football.
Brown, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior machine, was selected as this year’s Chuck Howley award recipient as the state’s top linebacker by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
The Howley Award is named after former Warwood High, WVU and Dallas Cowboys linebacker, the only player on the losing team to be named the Most Valuable Player in a Super Bowl (SB V).
Brown thus becomes the first Hurricane football player to receive an individual statewide honor. Previously, no Redskins athlete had been shortlisted for the longtime Kennedy, Stydahar or Huff awards, nor any of the WVSWA’s positional awards since 2014.
Jeremy Taylor, who recently stepped down as Hurricane coach, knows all of these names on the program’s all-time linebacker list, but believes Brown is at the top of that list.
“They’re all awesome,” Taylor said, “but he’s better than all of them, and it’s not even close.”
Brown has accumulated 159 total tackles in 11 games this season, including 105 unassisted saves. Of that total, 14 resulted in loss of yardage and three were quarterback sacks. He also returned a 61-yard fumble for a touchdown in Parkersburg.
Taylor said Brown has the perfect lineup for an outstanding player.
“He’s got just the right attitude,” Taylor said, “and the right amount of skill. And he’s tough to stop. He’s ready to do whatever it takes.
“He would have played it safe if we asked, and would play it as hard as he could. He’s just a different animal, and he played with an AC split in his shoulder. ”
Brown, a three-year-old linebacker starter, attributed several factors to his strong season, which also included a first-team spot on the Class AAA All-State team.
“The most important thing is probably to pay attention to the details,” said Brown, “and know the game. Being able to watch a movie and understand the offense you are against has helped me. Knowing if it is. It’s about a big passing team or a big racing team, what are its strengths and weaknesses, and being in the right place at the right time.
“Coaching goes a long way with that too. The way I was trained got me to where I am today. ”
Brown’s father, Matt Brown, said his son was never very interested in accolades or personal recognition. So what motivates Brogan Brown to excel?
“Recognition can get you in a certain way,” said Brogan Brown, “but the game is what I play football for. All I get out of my game is where it will take me. ‘ ‘
Brown intends to play college football and currently has five offers on the table, four in Division II and one in Division III. Taylor doesn’t understand why the Division I programs haven’t called.
“Why the hell don’t the colleges knock on my door, it’s beyond me”
Taylor said. “I don’t understand it. I do not understand. He’s got good speed, he’s athletic. I don’t know why they don’t jump on him.
“He’s the best linebacker in the state and there are other guys with Division I offers, but I would take him. There isn’t a coach in our conference who wouldn’t take it 10 times. He can play. He is what I call an old school player. But COVID killed him last year, not getting a full season. ”
Brown also contributed powerfully to Hurricane’s offense last season as a versatile full-back and H-full-back.
Along with a few stellar blocks, he carried the ball 36 times for 197 yards and four touchdowns and caught 17 passes for 293 yards and one more score.
Brown will receive his award at the 75th Victory Awards Dinner, scheduled for May 1 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston.