Dragons PK commits to Huskers, wants to play baseball, too

Posted Monday, Jul. 15, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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What do the Brown family, Carroll and Nebraska have in common?

Well, they’re each kind of a legacy. The Cornhuskers have long since been considered one of college football’s powers. They have five national championships. As for the Brown family, the first one, Kris, kicked for Carroll in the early 1990s and then later kicked for those dominant Nebraska teams of the late 1990s.

Younger brother Drew is following the same path. A three-year starter for the Dragons, his trip to Lincoln in early June for a Nebraska kicking camp resulted in him giving a verbal commitment.

It’s been a busy summer that has produced so many dividends for the Dragons’ senior-to-be place-kicker and right fielder.

“I want to try both sports when I’m there,” Drew said. “I talked to [head baseball coach Darin Erstad] and [head football coach Bo Pelini] and they said they would be fine with it. Of course, I would have to try out for the baseball team.”

In order to give himself a chance for that Division I baseball experience, Brown is spending the summer playing for the select team, Texas Blackhawks. The team just returned from playing in a tournament in Georgia where it went 4-1. It has two more tournaments to play.

The mission this summer has been for Brown to work on his stroke to drive more balls to center and right field. As Carroll’s No. 2 hitter, making contact and advancing runners is paramount to his performance.

“Drew is just a winner,” Carroll baseball coach Larry Hughes said. “He has been one of our most clutch and productive hitters the last two years. He’s very versatile and a class guy.”

Of course, there is enough down time for him to keep working on his kicking and maintaining the standard he has set in two previous years. In 2012, Brown converted all 97 extra point attempts and was 9-of-11 on field goals. He had a long of 42 yards. His personal best was 49 in his sophomore year. During Carroll’s repeat run to the Class 5A Region I championship round this past spring, he still split his days between football and baseball. When baseball practice finished, he went over to the football fields and worked on kicking mechanics.

And he does believe there is a strong mental correlation between football and baseball.

“You can’t ever be too athletic,” he said. “Kicking helps with my lower body and baseball helps with my upper body. They’ve kept me in better condition. There’s different pressure in each. I may get 3-5 chances in baseball but only one chance to kick a big field goal. So knowing how to deal with those chances is really important.”

Brown’s commitment to Nebraska probably came as no surprise. Between his brother and mother and grandmother living up there, it was going to take a lot for another school to pry him away. He said Oklahoma and Texas A&M had started to show some interest before the decision.

“Really, my commitment to [Nebraska] really came down to me making sure I was comfortable there,” Brown said. “I saw Kris kick a lot up there and been in [Memorial Stadium], but I still had to believe this is where I wanted to be. I’m very blessed that I have strong leg and have this opportunity.”

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