PREP FOOTBALL

Calumet's Brown lends a helping 'hand' on defense

2011-08-19T00:00:00Z 2012-07-10T18:47:23Z Calumet's Brown lends a helping 'hand' on defenseBy Al Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
August 19, 2011 12:00 am  • 

CALUMET TWP. | At 6-foot-2 and 310 pounds, jovial Thomas Brown is a nickname waiting to happen.

"Big T" and "Gerber Baby" are the two most often heard around the Calumet football lockerroom.

A two-way lineman, Brown is the Warriors' top returning tackler this season with 57 total (23 solo), 11 for loss, three quarterback sacks and six blocked field-goal attempts.

Brown also punted for a 32-yard average and graded out at 95.7 percent, offensively.

"I think, on the field, he's really going to open some eyes," coach Ivan Zimmer said. "Last season was just a platform. This year he's really going to tear it up."

Brown already has been offered by Eastern Michigan and more exposure this season should widen the interest in him by the top college programs.

"Having such a young team, I've been trying to become more of a vocal leader for all the new freshmen coming in," Brown said. "I want to make everything better in us becoming a family."

Coaches saw a marked improvement in Brown's weightroom regimen during the offseason and that's bad news for Calumet opponents.

"Last year I got a little banged up with the knees and hands but I'm feeling great, feeling stronger," he said.

Brown's goal is to make life miserable whether or not you touch the football.

"You got to worry about everything," he warned. "Rush, the pass blocking. Every down, I'm going hard. You gotta look out for me. Always watch for No. 72."

The Bears have their special teams' standout in Israel Idonije, whose seven career blocked kicks rank fourth in NFL history since that stat was first recorded in 1992. So, what's Brown's secret?

"You got to stop this big, 310-pound body," he said. "When I get a running start, I'm hard to block."

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