Marlon Brown finished last night’s contest with eight receptions, 106 yards, and two touchdowns. It was a performance worthy of more than a little conversation as Brown’s career at Georgia has been, for lack of a better word, inauspicious, at best.
The senior receiver signed with Georgia, in 2009. He was a a highly-touted prospect out of Tennessee (Harding Academy) with loads of talent. However, there was always some level of concern about how well he’d adjust to the physical nature of SEC play coming from a high school where he faced little competition.
That said, he’s struggled to find his way at Georgia and, when not injured, was often found absent from the box score—until last night.
Where 2011 saw Brown excel against Vanderbilt to help Georgia secure an emotional road victory, his 2012 performance against the newly indoctrinated Mizzou Tigers wreaked of something more—hope.
Hope that he might finally be ready to do more than be ‘that guy at Georgia who’s supposed to be pretty good, but can’t quite stay healthy or hungry enough to get the job done.’
Hope that he might finally be ready to shake off the disappointments of his, so far, forgettable career at Georgia and thrive in this season that holds so much expectation for so many.
Hope that Marlon Brown is ready to be more than a footnote in an offense that has seen guys like Michael Bennett, Chris Conley, and Malcolm Mitchell all pass him by on the hype and performance meter.
Hope that he’s ready to be ‘that guy’ because of what he was able to do last night.
Two big touchdown grabs, made in traffic, with Mizzou defenders all around him, was something that you couldn’t help but take notice of because, at this point, it’s become the type of play you associate with Michael Bennett. But Bennett was obviously off his game last night and that left room for Brown to come in and show what he’s capable of doing when he’s got a little confidence.
Will this game turn out to be a fluke—Brown largely disappeared again following his 100+ yard game against Vanderbilt last year—or is this truly going to become the signature moment for Brown?
The beginning of a truly special season for a guy who, to this point, really hasn’t shown us much?
For my money, I think/hope it’s the latter—and at least one of his teammates thinks so as well.
…Malcolm Mitchell, a former receiver himself, feels like Brown’s play against the Tigers is a harbinger of things to come the rest of the season.
“This is his breakout year I feel like,” Mitchell said. “This is his senior year. I feel like he’s going to have a great [year].”
But as good as he played Saturday, Brown knows it’s only one game. He can’t continue to have only one “breakout game” per season if he wants to be remembered as more than an on-again, off-again anomaly.
He has to keep the injury bug away, and more importantly, he has to keep complacency from setting in.
“I’m pretty healthy now,” he said. “I’ve just got to keep on grinding.” (Ryan Black, “Marlon Brown breaks out for Bulldogs in road victory”, redandblack.com, 9/9/12)