- Radi Nabulsi, Reporter, DawgNation
The first game of the season always carries with it a great deal of excitement and a touch of nervousness -- sometimes maybe a little bit of pressure. For wide receiver Nate Brown (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett), the first game of the 2012 season could go a long way in determining his future.
“I went up to Vanderbilt about two weeks ago and they were showing a lot of interest,” Brown said. “They asked for my game film from our first game of the season and they said they will probably make a decision off of that.”
The Commodores aren’t the only team that is waiting to see how he has progressed this summer.
“I always loved Ohio State and Stanford,” Brown said. “I visited Stanford over the summer. They showed a whole lot of interest too. But at the same time they asked for game film. They are in the same boat as Vandy in that they are looking at me in my first game this season.”
No big deal right? Just go out and catch a few passes and maybe pick up a couple college scholarship offers. Not so fast according to Brown. His Bulldogs open with a state powerhouse program that made it to the semifinals last season before losing to eventual champion Grayson (Ga.) High School.
“We play Colquitt County,” Brown said. “It is definitely going to open some eyes. We should be good. They beat us last year so it is a big rivalry going into it.”
Despite all that is riding on his performance, Brown is quite calm when discussing his situation.
“There is always going to be pressure so you just have to learn how to handle it -- be humble and just go into every game like it is your last,” Brown said. “I am trying to do big things this year because my future depends on it, in school and in sports. I ended last year with a 3.5 GPA and I am taking a couple of AP classes. I am pretty smart student.”
Brown wants to show that he is worthy of the scholarship offers he seeks. To that end, he plans on making sure that the North Gwinnett coaches call his number early and often against Colquitt County.
“The coaches already pulled me aside and told me that I would be a go-to guy this year,” Brown said.
This summer the 6-foot-2, 197-pound receiver hit the camp circuit, winning an invitation to the Rising Seniors program’s Georgia Junior Bowl in December. He also visited a couple of other SEC schools.
“I went to visit Auburn and they had a recruiter pull me aside and said they definitely would have some eyes on me,” Brown said. “I also attended Dawg Night at Georgia but I was not able to participate because of my hamstring. The coaches were aware of that and they said they wanted my contact information. I met pretty much every coach except for Mark Richt.”
If everything goes according to plan and Brown does pick up a scholarship from the Cardinal, distance won’t be an issue for him.
“I really like the West Coast,” Brown said. “My mom actually works out there. She works in San Francisco, and Stanford is in Palo Alto, so that is not too far of a drive. I love the weather out there.”
19hGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough