Finding Mudville: Kory Brown
The dream for the brothers Brown and McKelvey keeps getting better and better.
Please don’t pinch them, though, because this dream is real.
Oldest brother Omar Brown, who made the impossible possible last year by playing on the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and earning a ring, has his old no. 31 back and looks to open the season on the Ravens’ active roster. He is currently listed in the two-slot on the depth chart at safety.
Youngest brother Evan McKelvey has recuperated from knee surgery that cut short his 2012 season at Marshall after just three games, and is back and healthy. He will start at linebacker for the Thundering Herd in 2013.
And middle brother Kory Brown, who has endured perhaps the most arduous journey of the three brothers, will start for new coach Mike Stoops at Kentucky.
“It’s like a linebacker under the nickel scheme,” Brown said. “I’m in the middle on pass coverage so I’ll be spending some time as a linebacker and others as a defensive back.”
Brown leapt up the depth chart this year with a pair of interception returns for touchdowns during the Wildcats’ spring scrimmages. He loves life under Coach Stoops.
“On the first day he came in I was excited about what he was wanting to do,” Brown said. “When they came in and I saw the defense they ran, I just started smiling. I saw the films of what they did at Florida State and I knew this was my time.”
Kentucky didn’t win a game in the SEC last year but Brown said their conference record was not an indication of the team’s ability.
“We had the fourth toughest schedule in the nation last year and we have nowhere to go but up. We’re starting at the bottom.”
The Wildcats played Western Kentucky in Nashville, TN on Saturday in their season opener.
“We should be pretty good this year,” Brown said of the Wildcats’ first season under Stoops. “We’ve got the defensive scheme down. He’s letting us play. The team chemistry is pretty good also.”
When Brown returns home to the Palmetto State on Oct. 5 as the Wildcats take on South Carolina, a pair of former Berkeley Stags in Brown and Bruce Ellington will line up on opposite sides of the ball.
“I told Bruce he’s going to be seeing me a lot more this year,” he said. “With our defense he could be in my slot.”
Brown said the UK fans are great and love their Wildcats. Saturdays in Lexington, he added, are crazy. “This is a great football town,” he said. “The people here love Kentucky sports. They love us and really show us a lot of support.”
The former Stag North-South All-Star remembers his roots and his days patrolling the defensive backfields in Park and Rec games and wearing the Berkeley blue and gold. His advice for up and coming football players is simple: “Do what your coach tells you. Execute. Prepare. Preparation builds confidence and when you’re confident you go out and do your best.
“You leave it all on the field and don’t hold anything in the tank.”
The most important thing for football players to remember, he said, is the “student” in student-athlete. Good grades are everything.
“I tell them to stay on them books,” he said. “Education can take you a long ways. Without the grades you can’t play. If you have the grades you can go just about anywhere you want.
“Somebody will find a place for you.”