Brown Shines in Return to Starkville

| No TrackBacks
A.J. Brown - 2017 Egg Bowl

STARKVILLE, Miss. - A.J. Brown gathered his teammates in the visitors tunnel in the moments before Ole Miss took the field on Saturday night at Davis-Wade Stadium in the Egg Bowl. He swatted their shoulder pads and told them to lock in. He took his helmet off so they could see his face and delivered a message to his team that portrayed how he felt about the next 60 minutes.

This game meant more to him. Brown grew up miles from the stadium. He chose Ole Miss over his hometown Bulldogs, a decision that spurned criticism and chiseled a chip on his shoulder.

"I knew there were a lot of eyes on me," Brown said. "I just wanted to keep my cool, avoid the pushing and shoving and play my game.

His coach knew this would be a unique day for him.

"I knew he was going to be emotional coming back home," Matt Luke said. "I told him let's go out and enjoy this. We have 60 minutes left together, let's just go out and enjoy this."

The sophomore wide receiver made his presence felt from the time the clock began to run. He caught a 50-yard pass on the second play from scrimmage that set up an Ole Miss touchdown a play later. He caught a 77-yard deep ball for a score from Jordan Ta'amu that gave the Rebels a boost in momentum after Mississippi State narrowed the gap. The sophomore wide receiver caught six passes for 167 yards and the one touchdown in an emotional return to Starkville. He helped Ole Miss reclaim the Golden Egg Trophy.

"It was really huge," Brown said. "This wasn't just me. This was for the seniors."

Brown didn't practice this week while dealing with a hamstring issue. He wanted to be ready for this game.

"I was really antsy all week," Brown said. "I just wanted to do something."

The 77-yard touchdown looked like a sure overthrow out of the hand of Ta'amu. Brown jolted forward with a burst of speed, somehow caught up to the football and raced to the end zone.

"I thought he overthrew me," Brown said. "I didn't know what to think. I just knew I had to run. I don't know how I caught the ball."

Luke shared the same viewpoint while the football was in the air. He did not think there was any way Brown was going to be able to catch up to it.

"I thought it was overthrown with me me standing on the sideline," Luke said. "He wanted it and he just went and got it."

He relished the silence of the stadium after his touchdown catch and acknowledged this was something he'd been thinking about for two years, a return to Starkville where he made his decision to come to Ole Miss.

"I knew I was going to come back here," Brown said. "I thought about it a lot and it felt great."

 Brown was overjoyed in the mob of players trying to put their hands on the Golden Egg trophy.

"We were really excited about this win," Brown said. "We had to get the Egg Bowl back."

The proverbial chip on Brown's was fueled by some of the things he heard from people back home. It motivated him to muster the performance he had. It's one he will remember for some time to come.

"I had a chip on my shoulder coming into this game being from Starkville," Brown said. "It felt great. It really did."

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://cstv.collegesports.com/mt5.2/mt-tb.cgi/63311

Subscribe and Share

Tags

Recent Comments

    Tiffany J. Moore said:

    This is amazing with what he have done so far! Hope that he'll achieve more in the future!

    in post Evan Engram Hauls in Midseason Accolades

    Fiftyyears fan said:

    How can you have five straight top 25 recruiting classes and look as bad as Ole Miss has this year. Easy lack of coaching fundamentals. Look at Mason at Vandy, nothing but 2 and 3 star recruits out of high school and he developers players that want to win. Hugh freeze has 3, 4 & 5 recruits and he expects them to win because of what they were in High School. Mr. Freeze you have not been teaching the fundamentals of football or winning in life. Mr. Freeze you have quit on your players because you have some false expectations of what they are instead of what you can develop in them. Either do your job or quit. Oh yea, please quit running your smoke and mirrors offense, everyone has figured it out. Run a physical offense that can open up holes for your running backs and then your pass attack want require 12 are 14 four and five star receivers. Mr. Freeze you have problems and you need to know that you are not smarter than the rest of the coaches in the SEC.

    in post Rebels Unable to Send Senior Class Out on a High Note

    Karen Holden said:

    Not every pass can be caught. Too low, too short whatever. Not every Kelly pass is perfect. Records were broken by receivers also. But they sre not going to catch every ball thrown. The loss to Auburn was not one players fault. You win or lose as a team.

    in post Late Mistake Spoils Chad Kelly's Historic Performance

    Trent browning said:

    Hey I was just wandering if these are the only 2 olemiss players signing. If there are more signing please respond to me ASAP. Also wondering if neil everett will sign any autographs. Thank you very much

    in post Heisman House Tour Heads to Oxford for Ole Miss-Georgia

    Smithb733 said:

    I like what you guys are up too. Such smart work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site

    in post Madden 17 Ratings for Former Rebels

    Jamie laverty said:

    Bulmer I love you and ole Miss

    in post Fast Runner From Down Under

    Sharon Hamlin said:

    Hi! Really Bulmer is very fantastic & dedicated in his job. Really outstanding & well done... :-)

    in post Fast Runner From Down Under

    Sharon Hamlin said:

    Hi! Really motivating post & outstanding job did Bulmer .Loved it... :-)

    in post Fast Runner From Down Under