Today’s interviewee is Jefferson running back/linebacker Sammy Brown, whose team is playing at Creekside tonight in the Class 5A semifinals. Brown, a five-star recruit, has rushed for 2,155 yards and made 141 total tackles this season. He is a two-time state wrestling champion and a former Class A 400 meters champion who has placed in state meets in the 100 and 200 meters and long jump. Brown committed to Clemson football in June.
1. The past two years, you’ve been injured around playoff time, and Jefferson has exited early. Can you talk about the journey of you and the team getting to this point and how you plan on leaving your mark? “It’s just been a really fun year. This is the furthest I’ve ever been in the playoffs. I haven’t been past the first round since my freshman year, so it’s really fun to be back here, and I know it’s a great experience for those who haven’t experienced it yet. I’m glad that I’m able to do it with such a great senior class and team. We’ve got a really good bond, and we all have the same idea of where we want to go, so we’ve done a great job of coming together and forming a team. And I’ve been very happy with how we’ve played on offense and defense in the playoffs. [Jefferson has won all three of its playoff games by 21 points or more.] I think if we continue that we’ll be pretty good. But as far as me, I just want to give everything that I’ve got. I don’t want to have any regrets when I’m 40 or 50 years old and look back like, ‘Dang I should’ve given a bit more on that play or that game.’ I just want to give everything that I’ve got and leave everything that I have out there on the field.”
2. What advice would you give to football recruits, and what was a memorable moment in your recruiting? “I think it’s what I said about playing in the playoffs, just giving it all that you’ve got. That’s what my dad told me throughout my whole high school career, especially in my senior year. Don’t have any regrets about what you’ve done, whether school or football. The biggest thing about my recruitment was the official visit and being around the players. I hung around a lot with [former North Gwinnett player] Barrett Carter and the other linebacker commit, Drew Woodaz. The experiences I had with them made something click in my head and say this is where I want to be. I had very similar personalities with them and the others on the team and felt I fit in to what’s at Clemson right now.” [Brown committed on that June visit and shut down his recruiting. Brown added that he planned to major in biology and enter the pre-med program.]
3. You’re going to play football in Clemson, but you are an accomplished athlete in wrestling and track and field. How do those sports help you? “The biggest thing about those two sports is just building off of football. With wrestling, it’s a physically challenging sport, and you have to be mentally tough as well, so that’s taught me to be tough physically and mentally. And with the track, it’s just getting you up and going and running and keeping your body moving. So I use both of those sports to keep me active and not let myself get out of shape. They also help with football as well, so I’ve been very happy playing both those sports. I’ve done both since I was 6 or 7, so they’ve both been big parts of my life and I’ve really enjoyed them.” [Brown will be a Clemson early enrollee and won’t defend his heavyweight wrestling title or run track this academic year.]
4. With your successful high school career, what is the one best memory in your sports career? “I have two. The first one was my freshman year while at Commerce. The entire season was the COVID season, and we weren’t exactly sure if we were going to play or not. But we were able to, and we won the region. We made a pretty deep run into the elite eight. We ended up losing, but we still had a really great year. That was one of the more fun parts of my high school career. The other one was when I first came to Jefferson my sophomore year and we played Rabun County. It was more of a welcome-to-Jefferson thing. I scored and had a long run or something, and I can just remember everyone cheering. It was one of the loudest parts of the game I’ve ever been a part of, and it was really cool.” [Jefferson beat Rabun County 22-13 in a season-opening game between teams that were ranked No. 1 in their classifications. Jefferson also had Malaki Starks while Rabun County featured Gunner Stockton. Brown’s 78-yard run was Jefferson’s opening touchdown and tied the game 7-7.]
- Interview by GHSF Daily intern Micahya Costen
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