St. Al’s Brown to participate in U.S. Army Combine

Published 9:45 am Thursday, December 10, 2015

In a few weeks, Ben Brown will try to stand tall among a collection of giants.

Brown, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound junior offensive tackle at St. Aloysius has been selected to participate in the U.S. Army National Combine Jan. 7-9 in San Antonio, Texas.

The scouting combine is part of the festivities surrounding the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl football all-star game on Jan. 9, and will include nearly 600 of the country’s top junior football players.

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“It’s fun to compete against people like that,” Brown said. “This will probably be more pressure than a normal camp. There’s some pretty scary guys at the combine. I’m hoping I can hold my own.”

In terms of the recruiting process, Brown is already doing pretty well. He received offers from Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech last summer. He’s hoping the combine will raise his profile a little more, since hundreds of college coaches from across the country are expected to attend, but that’s not the only reason he’s looking forward to it.

The two-day combine includes classroom sessions about recruiting as well as on-field workouts. The chance to learn about mundane things like financial aid and how to handle calls from coaches and media seemed to excite Brown as much as running a 40-yard dash.

“The whole first day is lessons about recruiting. You learn a lot about the recruiting process and get to compete with the top players. Who wouldn’t want to do that?” Brown said.

The U.S. Army Combine will also serve as a springboard into an important stretch of the recruiting process for Brown. Nearly as important as what he does on the field is what he does over the summer in various camps on college campuses. It was a strong showing at the Southern Miss camp last summer that led to his first scholarship offer.

The January combine will give Brown a chance to see not only how he stacks up against top competition, but what he needs to improve on heading into the camp season.

“The main football camps are in June and July, so it gives me a chance to find my weaknesses and work on them,” Brown said. “I’m a little slow on my 40 time. But I do work hard and can get it down some. And there’s some common mistakes everybody has that I need to work on.”

Another purpose of the U.S. Army Combine is to grade and select players for next year’s all-star game. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is one of a handful of national all-star games that feature four- and five-star recruits.

Brown didn’t want to include himself in that class, but he was happy to have a chance to prove himself.

“You’re not necessarily going to the game if you’re going to the combine,” he said. “You’re not guaranteed a spot. But it’s definitely neat to go to.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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