Marlon Brown: Not satisfied, but ‘I’m not done yet’

ATHENS – When Marlon Brown — a Parade All-American, Tennessee’s “Mr. Football” and scout.com’s No. 2 wide-receiver prospect in the nation — signed with Georgia in 2009, the recruiting world overreacted, as it tends to do.

The nationally televised signing ceremony at Brown’s high school in Memphis spawned celebration in Athens and protestation in Knoxville. Famously, Lane Kiffin, then Tennessee’s coach, claimed Brown would have signed with the Vols if not for his grandmother’s insistence that he go to Georgia.

In a recruiting class that brought a number of highly touted prospects to the Bulldogs — quarterback Aaron Murray, tight end Orson Charles, cornerback Branden Smith and tailback Washaun Ealey among them — none garnered more attention at the time than Brown.

Three years, just 28 catches and several injuries later, Brown prepares for his senior season.

“Crazy,” he said. “I’m thinking back to my freshman year, and I’m like, ‘That was just yesterday.’ It’s gone by real fast. My last year, I’m going to try to have a good season.”

To this point, his career has provided a cautionary tale about the excesses of recruiting hype. But it also has provided an example of a young player showing patience and perspective, continuing to believe in himself and what he is yet to do.

“I’m not going to say I’m satisfied,” Brown said, “because I’m not done yet.”

As a freshman at UGA, the considerable transition from a small private high school — Harding Academy — to the SEC limited him to two catches in eight games (no starts).

As a sophomore, he was named the Bulldogs’ most improved offensive player despite catching only 11 passes in 12 games (no starts).

As a junior last season, he appeared primed for a breakthrough until an ankle injury — suffered shortly before the start of the season — lingered for much of the fall. He wound up playing in 12 games, starting five and catching 15 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns. One of the touchdowns came early in the fourth quarter of a 19-10, SEC East-clinching victory over Kentucky, when Brown caught a third-and-7 throw from Murray to stretch the Bulldogs’ lead from a tenuous 12-10.

Brown considers that the biggest play of his college career so far, despite one peculiarity about it: He ran the wrong route.

“But I saw Murray, and he saw me,” Brown said. “So it was a touchdown.”

On Georgia’s current depth chart, Brown is listed as the starting split end. He is being counted on to bolster a receivers group thinned by the part-time move of Malcolm Mitchell to cornerback.

“Every year, Marlon progressively gets better,” said starting flanker Tavarres King, recruited one year before Brown and also entering his final season. “He’s going to have a tremendous year.

“When he got here, he looked like a basketball player. [He starred in that sport in high school, too.] Now, he looks like a receiver. It’s crazy, how much he’s changed and how much he’s grown.”

Brown, 6-foot-5 and 222 pounds, up 22 pounds from his listed weight as a freshman, has gotten off to a big start in preseason practice. He caught six passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ first scrimmage. The catch is whether he can carry the success into the season.

“Every camp, he’s looked awesome, and he just gets nagging injuries to set him back,” Murray said. “But when Marlon is 100 percent, he’s a huge threat.”

Brown battled a shoulder injury in 2010, but his most frustrating injury was last year’s sprained ligaments in his left ankle.

“It happened the last day of [preseason] camp — the very last play of camp, actually,” Brown said. “I was, like, ‘not again, not another little nagging injury that is going to hold me back from being 100 percent and having a good season.’”

It was mid-November, he said, before the ankle felt normal again.

His biggest hope for this season is health from start to finish.

“I just want to be a dependable guy in my last year here,” he said. “… And make big plays for my team.”

As Brown prepares for his senior season, a new class of highly touted recruits begins the college experience — part of the cycle of college football. Brown has one piece of advice for the newcomers as they transition from the loud hype of the recruiting process to their new reality.

“Really, just ignore the noise,” he said. “… You got to come in and just humble yourself.”

MUCH MORE ON GEORGIA FOOTBALL:

49 comments Add your comment

Third

August 10th, 2012
2:23 pm

First

August 10th, 2012
2:23 pm

Ghost of Erk

August 10th, 2012
2:33 pm

I am loving the all-team, all-the-time spirit of this 2012 squad. A new seriousness and focus on the US rather than the ME. From Jarvis helping the O-Line prepare to Branden’s willingness to play on all special teams, I hope this is the start of something special. Get after it, boys!

GeoffDawg

August 10th, 2012
2:34 pm

Best of luck to him. Hopefully, he can follow in the footsteps of Reggie Brown, another high school All American that never could get on track until his breakout seanior season.

Another kid that I have been waiting on seeing do well

August 10th, 2012
2:43 pm

I call him Marvelous Marlon Brown. I have been looking for him to have a break out season and maybe his Senior year will do it.

Good luck Mr Brown !! I hope that he does well enough this year to get a really long NFL look and go from there.

Go Dogs.

Spanky

August 10th, 2012
2:46 pm

GeoffDawg- nice shout-out to Reggie!

Alot of folks(myself included) have been waiting on this guy to step it up, so now, it seems like he recognizes the opportunity to really pull through for us!! Love his attitude!

We might have a break from the trolls pretending to be Bama fans…they’re celebrating LSU departing ways with Honey Badger.

Frank Lane

August 10th, 2012
2:48 pm

I hope for his sake that he has an injury free break out year.

claytondawg

August 10th, 2012
2:53 pm

“There goes Marlon; there goes Marlon.” Hey, Larry is looking down wanting to say that. Looking forward to see Marlon do well for the ‘Dogs and for himself.

Yeah Doggie

August 10th, 2012
3:13 pm

G-Dawg

August 10th, 2012
3:21 pm

Tape them ankles up!!!!!

truedawg

August 10th, 2012
4:04 pm

“Just give me the damn ball”….Want it. All these players are starting to sound like they want it, and are willing to work to get it. Maybe all the guys that expected to have the starting spot are gone. Best players on the field now..I’m thinking this offense might catch up to the defense now..GATA!!!

Destin Dawg

August 10th, 2012
4:24 pm

Great TEAM attitude with this group… energy vampires are gone… this is our year… SEC champs.. Go dawgs… S & C with nutrionist Jen Ketterly and super lunch buufet at Butts Mehre.. will make a difference !

Grantham's Junk Yard Dawgs

August 10th, 2012
4:29 pm

Our big DDDEEEEEE will make Erk Russell proud !! Grantham has been around football all his life and knows this is HIS huge opportunity to make a career in CFB… shutdown defense wins games !!!!

Destin Dawg

August 10th, 2012
4:40 pm

Marlon will live up to his potential this year… Go Deep !!

Top Dawg

August 10th, 2012
4:47 pm

Sounds like these young men are wanting to win so bad they cant stand it…. We finally have some quality LEADERS on this team that UGA has not seen in a while, and that equals wins!! GO DAWGS!!

ugab

August 10th, 2012
4:53 pm

good luck Marlon. Thanks for staying and tuffing everything out. ur a dgd

chuck

August 10th, 2012
5:17 pm

The DGD deserves a great season and a sccessful pro career.

Tampa Gator

August 10th, 2012
5:31 pm

He should have come to Florida and he would probably be an all American!

azdawg

August 10th, 2012
5:32 pm

Hoping Marlon’s senior year is a championship one.

William

August 10th, 2012
5:36 pm

Please stay healthy. We need you in the worse sort of way. The offense must score points. The defense needs to be off the field as much as possible.

Tampa Gator

August 10th, 2012
5:43 pm

Tampa Gator
August 10th, 2012
5:31 pm
“He should have come to Florida and he would probably be an all American!”

I came on to read the article and the posts without posting myself. But it seems someone is posting on here for me. SO…TO LET YOU KNOW. I AM NOT POSTING TO THIS STORY. I guess I will ask this reporter AJC to monitor posts that are not mine as well. It is difficult to deal with juveniles who are not intelligent enough to post with there own posting names. This seems to be a cronic issue with this person lately.

Tampa Gator

August 10th, 2012
5:53 pm

The fake Tampa Gator is most likely Destin Dawg……”he would be an all-american at Florida”…is a repeating story for him….using my name. Destin….I used to own a condo on a golf course in Destin….notice the “used to.” I was not fond of south Alabama….at it was too close to FSU.

Tampa Gator

August 10th, 2012
5:54 pm

Sorry…I said I was not going to post. No more for sure.

[...] WR Marlon Brown ‘not satisfied, not done yet’ [...]

Rick James

August 10th, 2012
6:50 pm

I would love to see Marlon have a breakout year…

ZinoDawg

August 10th, 2012
7:36 pm

Marlon will be a stud this year. Go Dawgs!
GATA!

RHall55

August 10th, 2012
8:45 pm

The attitude of this year’s Team appears to be awesome….hopefully the Coaching Staff will not get in their way in making it a very, very successful season!! Listen up CMB, CRG, CWF….etc…C’MON MAN WIN THE BIG ONES!!!

Tampa Gator

August 10th, 2012
8:45 pm

Sorry everyone for my paranoia. I have been under a lot of stress lately and act irrationally at times.

davidinloganville

August 10th, 2012
9:24 pm

Wasted his freshman season but if Richt promises someone something he sticks with it unlike the coach over at GREEN BOW ALABAMA

bubba4dawgs

August 10th, 2012
9:49 pm

I love your attitude, Marlon!! It all starts there. Take everything in stride and your developed skills will take you thru a very successful season! We’ll be cheering for you!! GO DAWGS!!

Dawg Haus

August 10th, 2012
10:58 pm

Loving this attitude in the locker room. Marlon Brown is the perfect example of the kind of quality young men we need at UGA. I’m hoping he has the breakout senior season that Mo Mass did back in 2008. Go get ‘em, Marlon!

OrlandoDawg

August 10th, 2012
11:57 pm

Wow! What leadership we have, never have I seen the team with this much leadership!!! Since maybe Green and Pollock?

zbulldawg

August 11th, 2012
1:15 am

And every body has forgotten about Conley the other freshman last year that had some big catches ! Don’t kid yourself UGA is loaded at WR. Now Mitchell can play his true position CB. They are two deep at WR. We have two great QB’s also ! We have been loading up right under every body’s noises. But every body is to busy running their mouth ! I was told as a young boy ” If god meant for you to listen with your mouth you would be talking out your ears ” GETUSUM get ready it’s coming It’s here !!!!

Hmmm..

August 11th, 2012
2:16 am

Mark Richt has lost control of Marlon’s luck and tendency to be injured..

Palm City Dawg

August 11th, 2012
8:07 am

Love you Marlon. The Dawg nation loves you. This is your year to help carry us the the SEC championship.

Tampa Gator

August 11th, 2012
9:39 am

Get your hopes up dawg fans as the fall will once again crush your spirits!

KJ

August 11th, 2012
10:14 am

“Mark Richt has lost control of Marlon’s luck and tendency to be injured”

He also should have seen this coming when Marlon was in high school, and stubbed his toe that one time. Richt recruits injury-prone athletes; everyone else knew better and stayed away.

Remarkable

August 11th, 2012
11:18 am

KJ
Yea, everyone knew better and stayed away from “a Parade All-American, Tennessee’s “Mr. Football” and scout.com’s No. 2 wide-receiver prospect in the nation.” Don’t post unless you just want everyone to know how ignorant you really are.

Baby Dawg

August 11th, 2012
11:52 am

Ricky Bobby bit me !!!!!

Tampa Gator

August 11th, 2012
12:15 pm

Baby dawg. You wouldn’t know sarcasm if it bit you!

Tampa Gator

August 11th, 2012
12:16 pm

I meant remarkable wouldn’t know sarcasm if it bit him!

philSC

August 11th, 2012
12:27 pm

LATTIMORE just called a press conference to announce that he could score on the DWAGS with one leg…lol

philSC

August 11th, 2012
12:28 pm

Heard CMR had bible study with the HONEYBADGER last night.. Any truth to this?

Eddie

August 11th, 2012
2:11 pm

Look–it is a little gamecluck fan–how cute. Can’t wait for UGA to blow your team and your whining coach out of the water this year.

Not your typical Jacket

August 11th, 2012
2:57 pm

Marlon Brown sounds like someone who has his priorities right.
I wish we could get the folks off these boards who just want to rile everyone up.
They always have some excuse like the other side started it.

VolsRule

August 12th, 2012
2:17 pm

Marlon Who?????

The kid has been a bust – and if UGA had real depth at WR – he would not even sniff the field. Just wait – he will have another “nagging” injury before the season starts OR iff he stays healthy – he will go on and have a quiet senior season.

We have had our issues with our program and recruiting. This is one recruit that I am now glad we did not win. Yes, we wanted him bad – but with hindsight giving us clarity – HIs small private school did not prepare him at all for college as a football player and he as done nothing but take up roster space at UGA. The important thing is that he has a chance to graduate from UGA – and at the end of the day – that’s a great thing for all of these kids to do.

VolsRule

August 12th, 2012
2:22 pm

I also do not like the GameCocks – but to tell you the truth – they will be the best team in the SEC East this year and will beat UGA.

Why?
QB – Shaw is a better game manager than Murray and will take care of the ball. Being loose with the ball is in Murray’s DNA.
OL – Edge to South Carolina
RB – EDGE to South Carolina
WR – EVEN

Defense
DT – Edge to UGA
DE – Edge to South Carolina
LB – even
DB’s – South Carolina

Coaching – South Carolina

UGA will lose 2 or 3 SEC games this year. Parity rules the day – but South Carolina is the best program in the SEC East thanks to Spurrier.

LHarding Dawg

August 12th, 2012
6:16 pm

The Vols don’t even rule Tennessee. Who care what this loser has to say.

[...] WR Marlon Brown ‘not satisfied, not done yet’ [...]