Football coaches are known for cliches. It's part of their DNA.
But when Calumet skipper Ivan Zimmer says that senior Thomas Brown can do it all, he isn't just talking coach-speak. He is saying the truth about his 6-foot-3, 295-pound jack of all trades.
"He was a four-year starter for us; he played mostly offensive line," Zimmer said. "But he played wherever we needed him. He played every position for us but quarterback."
Both Zimmer and Brown are at Indianapolis University preparing for Friday's North-South All-Star game. Zimmer is entering his 30th year as a high school coach, but this is the first time he's ever been on the North coaching staff.
Having Brown along for the ride only makes the week that much sweeter. Brown, a solid student, is heading to Purdue this fall and is attempting to walk-on for the Boilermakers' football program.
"I believe he's going to make it," Zimmer said. "He's that good of an athlete and that good of a football player."
At Tuesday's practice a North coach asked if anyone could punt. Brown raised his hand. The coach joked, "Yeah, and I bet you played running back, too."
When Brown correctly said "Yes" the camp broke out in laughter.
Lake Central coach Brett St. Germain is the North's head coach. When Zimmer was at Andrean and St. Germain was playing for Merrillville in the 1980s the two were engrossed in some classic Friday night wars.
Now, they're enjoying being on the same sidelines.
"It's great having both guys here," St. Germain said. "(Ivan) has a genuine excitement about being here. He has a lot of energy and he's having fun, which is what this is all about.
"Thomas is playing left guard for us. He's doing a great job learning all the new schemes and terminology. All the kids are."
By Tuesday night the All-Stars had been through six practices with the opener starting Sunday afternoon.
As a junior, Brown blocked six field goals. Last year against Whiting he punted a 78-yard boot and caught a 20-yard pass at the wideout position.
He also played three years of basketball for the Warriors.
"Anywhere coach needed me, I was there," Brown said. "It was crazy but I had fun with it. This has been a great week so far. I've hoped to make this team since I was in high school.
"Being a part of this is special. It is for all the region guys."