June 29, 2010
Brown focused on senior year, UA
Since announcing his commitment to the Alabama Crimson Tide in February, Adel (GA) Cook linebacker Shannon Brown has continued to see plenty of recruiting attention from programs around the Southeast, leading many to wonder just how firm his commitment is to the Tide. While Brown has been flying under the radar this summer, his high school coach said there's no doubt that Brown remains committed to enroll at Alabama.
"I really believe he's 100 percent committed," said Cook High School head coach Ken Cofer. "There have been plenty of other coaches that have come down to watch him this summer and they all tried to make a run. Georgia, LSU and Auburn have all been after him but there hasn't been a day since he committed that he hasn't worn Alabama stuff to school. His teammates say he won't stop talking about Alabama. I think he's going to listen when these other schools talk to him but he's had opportunities to go visit these places and he hasn't gone. I think he's got his mind made up."
Brown has spent the summer away from the camp circuit, choosing to focus instead on working out and preparing for his senior season, when Cofer said he and the rest of the Cook coaching staff expect to see improvements both on and off the field from the four-star defender.
"He's been very quiet this summer. You'd think he'd still be going to camps, at least at Alabama, but we just can't get him out of the weight room. He's lost about 10 or 15 pounds and this spring when he ran track for us he was winning heats in some of his sprints. You don't see a lot of 250-pound guys winning the 100-meter dash."
While Brown has made quite a few physical advances in the last few years, it's the progress he's made in his personal life that looks the most promising for his future.
"Shannon has grown up a lot in the past four years. He's always been a very impressive kid, on the field and in the classroom. I've always told Shannon there's nothing he can't do. He's got the athleticism to play any position on the field and even the brains to play quarterback. His ability on defense to recognize what an offense is doing before the ball is snapped is amazing. He's just got an instinct for it."
"At the same time, we're expecting more out of Shannon this season from a leadership standpoint. I think Shannon has had things come so easily to him for so long. He told me in his first three years, he never really pushed himself to be the best but this year he is really taking it upon himself to try and push himself further."
Cofer said the positive environment created by his teammates and coaches have been a major factor in Brown's revamped attitude and hopes that same kind of positive attitude will help him continue to progress at Alabama.
"When you are around people who expect great things from you, you are going to rise to those expectations, I really believe that. Shannon has a bunch of classmates and teammates that are good leaders and great kids and they won't let him slip. They care about him too much to let him start to slack off. The key is for Shannon to start taking charge of those things on his own because when he gets to college, he'll have to be step up and take responsibility for himself every minute of every day."
While the responsibility for his own success will lay in Brown's hands going forward, Cofer said he is hopeful that the 6-foot-2, 240-pound linebacker will be able to get the best out of himself in that high-pressure environment.
"I think the coaches at Alabama are passionate, intense and focused guys who will help Shannon become his best but also hold him to a high standard. Right now it's my job as his head coach to get him ready for an intense environment like that and I'm confident that if Shannon puts his mind to it, he can go as far as he wants."
Brown is a the No. 10 rated inside linebacker prospect in the nation and the No. 228 overall prospect in the nation.
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