Jordan Brown likes to run.
Whether he is doing it on the football field or on the track, the Davidson Day sophomore moves at a dizzying pace.
Brown, 16, not only earned NCISAA (1A) all-state honors, finishing second in the state in the 100 and 200-meter dashes as a freshman in 2010, but he also finished second in both races (100 and 200 Emerging Elite races) at the New Balance National meet in Greensboro in June. Brown was also a part of the state championship 4-by-200-relay squad.
While he might be better known for his accomplishments on the track, Brown is looking to also make a name for himself on the football field this fall.
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"A lot of people focus on J.B.'s speed and think that is all he is," said Davidson Day football coach Chad Grier. "But to me, J.B. is a great football player who also happens to run track, not the other way around."
Brown's speed was evident in his first varsity game (also Davidson Day football team's varsity debut) Aug. 19, when he helped the Patriots to a 61-29 thrashing of perennial power Harrells Christian. Brown had two catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns, 28- and 35-yard strikes that he caught in full stride. Brown also had three rushes for 16 yards and an 80-yard punt return for a score.
Brown used his talents on the defensive side of the ball from his safety position, recording 6.5 tackles and an interception.
"We want to get J.B. the ball in space as much as possible," said Grier, who said Brown runs a sub-4.5 40-yard dash. "He is a threat to take it all the way every time he touches the ball."
As a running back, wide receiver, defensive back and return specialist, Brown will touch the ball a lot this season. But his multiple roles on the team also don't afford him much rest during the course of a game.
"I don't want to come off the field," said Brown, whose Davidson Day varsity team has only 25 players. "Most of the guys on our team play both ways, and we have worked very hard over the summer to be conditioned for that."
Brown's talents also come from family tradition - his father and main mentor, Larry, played college football at Winston-Salem State in the 1980s. Brown has grown up learning everything from his speed to his skills from his father. He also is a constant presence as a teacher and extra coach.
"My dad has always been like my coach on and off the field," said Brown. "We talk about everything from practice to scrimmages to games. He has helped to focus on improving my game."
One of those skills that Brown wants to improve is patience, not only in letting plays and blocks develop, but also choosing when to turn on the burners and when to make cuts and moves.
Brown said sometimes has to remember that he is on the football field, not the track, but he still always envisions himself as the fastest person on the field.
While Brown is a major part of the offense, he has young talent all around him including quarterback Chad Grier (314 yards, five touchdown passes in first game), junior wideouts, Evan Gates (four touchdowns first game) and Aaron Seward (eight catches, 173 yards, two touchdown catches first game), who all make each other better. The Patriots, who were unbeaten as a junior varsity team last year, are looking to earn respect, early and often, on the varsity level.
Brown is eager to prove himself on the football field, where one day hopes to earn a college scholarship (for both football and track).
"Everybody knows what I've done on the track and how fast I run," said Brown. "But I want people to know that I am a football (talent) player, too. Now, I have to go out and prove it."