The 90 Illini #3: Jonathan Brown August 29, 2012
6′-1″, 235 lbs.
Junior (on scholarship, 3 years to play 2)
Christian Brothers HS / Memphis, Tennessee
ALE Ranking last year: #10
ALE Ranking in 2010: #76
What I Know About Him:
I’m still so mad at myself for moving him down last year. When I made my original rankings, I had him #4 last year, but then I talked myself out of it. “He’s just a true sophomore, he hasn’t started a single game yet, I’m basing this on spring performance only” etc. etc. So I moved him down to #10. And then he had a season where he was easily top-3 in terms of impact. Never again.
Vic Koenning said that Brown might have the best instincts of any linebacker he’s ever coached. And that’s what makes BadNewsBrown so good: instincts. He’s not the fastest linebacker, nor is he the biggest. But he can read gaps like no linebacker we’ve seen in a very long time. In terms of vision and instincts, I think he’s passed J Leman and is now into Dana Howard territory. He just supernaturally knows where the ball is going to be.
What I Expect From Him:
I recorded an interview with Jonathan Brown after the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. But then I walked the streets of San Francisco on New Years Eve and ate Steaks and Cakes to celebrate and completely forgot to post it. By the time I remembered that I forgot, it was out of context and, well, just too late. But I still have the audio file saved, and I just went and listened to it again. It’s so awesome. Starts like this.
Me: “OK, I’m here with Jonathan Brown. I don’t know if you know this or not, but I’ve tried to start this thing on Twitter where I call you Bad News Brown…
Him: “Oh, that was you? Thanks, man.”
He then shook my hand. And I kind of giggled. It was awkward. I’m beginning to remember why I didn’t post it.
ANYWAY, I totally forgot about this part:
Me: Any goals for next year? Any personal goals? Anything like that?
Him: Yeah, I’ve got something brewing. Hopefully I can go out and get the Butkus.
Well there’s an expectation. It’s a longshot – really difficult without any preseason hype – but hey, who am I to question Bad News Brown? Go out and get it, JB.