As if it wasn’t already hard enough to play the No. 1 team in the country on its own stomping grounds, Kentucky now has to worry about Tony Brown.
The Alabama defensive back is coming off a four-game NCAA suspension with the chance to make his 2016 football debut Saturday against the Wildcats, and the Crimson Tide is glad to have him back.
“He brings so much energy to this team on and off the field,” said defensive lineman Jonathan Allen. “As a team, we’re just so happy and excited for him to come back and excited to see what he does this week.”
Also coming back from the same suspension is defensive lineman Johnny Dwight.
Coach Nick Saban plans to work Brown back into the swing of the game by starting him off on special teams and eventually back to cornerback or star. This way Saban can see if there are any improvements to the team.
“I know it’s going to add a little depth at an area where we don’t have a lot of depth,” Saban said. “That will definitely be helpful, but I also think it will create some competition with some of the other players that may be helpful as well.”
Brown’s contributions on special teams are really what made a name for himself. Last year, he recorded eight tackles and was named UA coaching staff’s special teams player of the week four times.
Linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton believes Brown is one of the hardest tacklers on the team, and he expects to see some big hits out of Brown this weekend.
Also a member of the track-and-field team, Brown is athletic to say the least. Alabama’s leading wide receiver, Calvin Ridley, said Brown is even faster than him, and Ridley ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash during the spring.
One of the issues Kentucky faces against Brown is that he hasn’t played in a game this season, so there isn’t any recent tape on him.
“I guess I’d just look at some old film of him to prepare for him,” Ridley said. “I know he’s hungry right now. Like really hungry. He’s going to come out and compete.”
Brown is looking to make an instant impact on the field. From this point on, he’ll also be donning the No. 2, instead of his previous No. 7 jersey.
“You know, he was upset that he couldn’t be out there with us, he couldn’t travel with us,” said fellow defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. “The last couple of weeks he’s been working really hard. He’s been staying focused, and he’s really boosting up the team’s energy. That’s what he does all the time, and we know we are going to be really happy to have him out there.”
Off the field, Brown keeps his teammates loose. Many of his teammates think he is one of the funniest players on the team. Ridley, who other teammates have considered a comedian, said Brown likes making jokes and keeps the team laughing.
Brown adds an energy boost to the team. Linebacker Reuben Foster called Brown a caged animal, and the Crimson Tide is ready to release Brown’s inner beast.
“That’s all he can talk about, getting back on the field, just playing with us,” Foster said. “Tony brings fire, brings fire to the whole team, like killer shots. That gets our adrenaline going and ready to play.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports