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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Intelligence, Humility, Genetics Set 2021 ATH Prophet Brown Apart

February 21, 2020

TJ Ewing can explain what makes Prophet Brown‍ special in a word.

“Genetics,” the Monterey Trail High School head coach says of the 2021 California athlete.

“All of those kids who are high-star guys, they’re typically gifted, they’re genetically and physically gifted.”

But Ewing can also go much deeper.

“I think the most important thing is his intelligence, his ability to pick up information quickly and his humility to not act or feel like he knows it all,” the coach continues. “He totally understands the coaches are doing right by him and he trusts the coaches teaching him whatever lesson plan we have for him. He’s able to take the information in, identify what he needs to do and applies it. And with his genetics and physical stature, that’s a double-edged sword.

“He’s applying the information with his talent and that’s why he makes plays. He’s able to process it in his brain and his body is able to do what his brain says to do. A lot of guys don’t have the physical talent or the brain. He has both. A lot of kids who are being recruited have those special traits and Prophet definitely has them.”

Brown is emerging as a top national recruit, having hauled in scholarship offers from top programs around the country like Notre Dame, USC, Oregon, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Michigan among others. But none of it has gone to his head and he’s still working and listening so he can continue getting better.

“What separates him from other guys is his humility, willingness to learn and play any position,” Ewing says.

Brown played quarterback during his only year of youth football and during his freshman year before being moved to running back as a sophomore.

“A lot of our kids played multiple years of youth football,” says Ewing. “He’s still a raw football player who is going to get better and better as he keeps getting coached. That’s what I love about him. He’s like a ball of clay. Once you coach him up, he’ll get better and better and better. You can see it on film. That’s why he exploded this last year.”

Ewing likens his program to one from the 70s or 80s and says Brown epitomizes that.

“In our program, we’re old-school in that regard,” he says. “The head coach doesn’t have a Twitter account and all of that stuff. We push the kids to play three sports, multi-sport guys. He’s a three-sport athlete. We don’t tell the kids what sport to play. We just promote them to play the sports so they stay busy, but also build relationships with people, adults and their peers, and learn how to compete in other venues.

“We’re not looking into, ‘Oh, the combine. Let’s go to this camp,’” he says. “It’s just, ‘Do your sports. Perform in your sports. Have your grades.’ Obviously, he has way above the level where he can get into Notre Dame and those schools that have high-academic achievers.”

I don’t think anybody wants to use Prophet like (we do)
- TJ Ewing

Ewing is also proud that the players who come out of his program succeed off the field at the next level.

“I’m glad that guys like Prophet and guys we’ve had in the past will graduate college,” he says. “We don’t have guys who go to college and burn out after a year playing football or whatever sport. Our kids graduate college. I think that’s a testament to the program and the kids and their work ethic and understanding.”

Monterey Trail is old school on the field as well in terms of style.

“We’re a 21 personnel/pro football lineup, two backs, a tight end and two receivers,” says Ewing. “You’ve got to be a little bit of a hog to dive the ball in there. You can’t be anything but tough.”

The coach recognizes Brown won’t be doing much of that on the next level, but still sees it as beneficial for him.

“I don’t think anybody wants to use Prophet like that,” says Ewing. “To have a kid dive in there and do that, it’s pretty hilarious to be honest with you.

“I think it helps him because that’s an element those open-space players don’t usually do. I don’t think anybody is going to use him that way, but he has done it and can do it. That’s another skillset that we talked about. We felt like Reggie Bush’s career was limited because he ran around the edges, he was an edge guy. Now, if he ran through tackles like Christian McCaffrey, maybe he would have had a better career in that regard. I just feel like that will give the kid more opportunities to learn everything about the sport and he’ll be better and have a better career.”

Ewing says Brown is so charismatic that other kids just gravitate to him.

“His smile lights up the room,” the coach says. “It’s crazy to think this kid has that much physical raw talent and intelligence and that much charisma too. That kid can be packaged with his name and smile and charisma.”

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