Ryan Brown: A Loaded Bullet

The Mississippi State coaching put staff together possibly the best signing class during the Dan Mullen era, on February 1st. The class was headlined by some of the best defensive linemen prospects in the country. The most skilled of that group is probably Ryan Brown, a 6’5”, 240 pound strongside defensive end from Marrero, Louisiana.

Brown committed to the Bulldogs during the summer, but he officially pledged to be a Bulldog on signing day. He discussed what it felt like to finally sign his letter- of-intent and if there was any hesitation in committing early in the recruiting process.

“It feels great to sign with MSU. It’s a family there, and I’m glad to be a part of the family,” said Brown.

“We actually decided earlier that if Mississippi State offered, I would go there. It wasn’t a big thing. They knew where I wanted to go and I love it up there.”

Brown wasn’t the only the Louisiana player to sign with Mississippi State. The Bulldogs also signed Torrey Bell and Quadry Antoine. Brown, coincidently enough, has ties to both players.

“Torrey – I’ve known him since high school. We went to school together—real cool cats. We all had chemistry together. I met Quadry at a combine. I saw he went to Belle Chasse. Me and him had a little rivalry. Our schools are on the same side of the river and they beat us in the state championship. We kind of had a beef until this summer. I’m probably going to be roommates with one of those two guys,” said Brown.

“Torrey was 6’3 or 6’4, our eight grade year. He was the same height. I was a normal-sized guy. I was looking at him like ‘dang, you tall.’ He was getting all the attention. I left there and went to [Archbishop] Shaw. He saw I got stronger and taller. So, he got mad at that,” Brown said jokingly.

The lanky defensive end had his recruiting process wrapped up. So, he was able to have a solid senior year, with 39 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss. Although it wasn’t the year he expected.

“I had a pretty good season. It was kind of hard because a lot of people were running away from me. I was already committed. They highlighted me and made me a target for a lot of things. Why would you run toward a loaded bullet? I’m not trying to be cocky, but they would try to run away from me. They wouldn’t try to take me on—head on every time,” Brown said.

Brown has turned his focus, now, toward trying to get college offenses to run away from him. He is expected to potentially see playing time as a freshman.

“It’s a good possibility that I will be in the rotation, next year. I told them I am willing to play anywhere, as long as I can get on the field – being able to play strong (strongside defensive end) and weak (weakside defensive end). I played a little weak my freshman year. It wasn’t until my junior year, I stuck with strongside. So, I know how to play both. I need TO gain some more weight and get stronger, faster and see what happens,” said Brown.

The main reason Brown could play as a true freshman is because of his advanced technique for a player his age.

“The game is 70-percent mental and 30-percent physical. If you can outsmart your opponent, you’re going to win that battle. That is why I developed my mind and my technique. So, it’s all a mind thing. I just work on that everyday, my technique, my technique,” Brown said.

Brown is expected to line up at strongside defensive end as a freshman, but there is a possibility that he, eventually, could become a defensive tackle at Mississippi State

“I talked to the strength and conditioning coach. He told me they are going to put me on a weight program and see how my body reacts. He is going to put me through some tests and see about me being a real solid 300-pounder – compared to a 270 guy,” Brown said.

The man who will be tasked with developing Brown at defensive end or defensive tackle will be Defensive Line Coach, Chris Wilson.

“It’s going to be a great honor being coached by a great guy like that, who has experience and knows people. He also knows how to play football with technique and get you to that next level. I can’t wait to start training and working hard to reach that goal of becoming an NFL prospect,” said Brown on playing for Wilson.

Brown already has a friendship with fellow defensive end Torrey Bell, but he also has developed a bond with A.J. Jefferson, a player that he will be competing with for playing time. He talked about his relationship with Jefferson and competing for playing time against the guys with whom he has developed those bonds.

“I haven’t talked to Quay, but I talked to A.J. Jefferson. I talked to him at the official. He’s a real cool guy. We kind of cliqued when we started talking. Every camp I went to—he was at,” Brown said.

“It’s the same thing in high school. There were a lot of guys I competed with. You’re still friends with them, but when the pads come on, you got to be a competitor—no matter who’s your friend or not. It’s not an enemy thing. It’s just the competitive nature of a football player. We are still a team”.

Long-term, Brown has the right mindset about being a big-time SEC defensive lineman.

“[I’m] being the best I can be. That’s all I can ask of myself. [I] look myself in the mirror every day and ask myself did I do my best today. Everything else is going to fall into place. Beyond that, [it is] being a four-year starter and giving all I can give. Hopefully, I will see myself in the NFL, one day,” Brown said, speaking on his long-term goals.

Brown is one of the sleepers of the Mississippi State signing class, but he could be a household name by the end of the 2012 season. When Auburn can’t get that speed sweep—Ryan Brown will likely be one of the reasons.


Jeremiah Short covers Mississippi State University football and basketball.  Follow him on Twitter, @JeremiahShort26; join his Facebook blog, Real Story Sports: J.Short’s Blog, or e-mail him, JShort@realstorypublishing.com.

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