In football, no matter what level, much of the focus is on the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers making big plays and scoring touchdowns. But who plays an integral part in making that happen? The linemen, who provide the blocks for running backs and QBs. Fort Walton Beach, Fla.’s Preston Brown is one of those big, bruising guys who battles in the trenches as a center, and he’s proud of it. The 2022 student-athlete is a hard-nosed, powerful blocker for the Fort Walton Beach High School Vikings. And, Brown is also proud that he’s headed to NextGen’s The Show this month.
“To be recognized by coaches and scouts in a competitive environment is always an honor,” he said. “Such recognition, especially among so many talented players, is extremely rewarding.
“It is an amazing opportunity both to meet and to compete with elite athletes who have demonstrated a commitment to football and determination to succeed,” he added. “I am looking forward to competing with them.”
Brown’s highlight video shows him playing for the Fort Walton Beach varsity team as a freshman, wielding his 6”2’, 271-lb. frame to overpower defensive linemen, opening holes and keeping pass rushers at bay. Brown also has surprising speed—he runs a 4.98 40—which gives him an advantage when he’s making blocks downfield to extend a play.
“I enjoy being on the line and knowing the success of every play depends on how well my teammates and I can perform one of the basic elements of football—blocking,” Brown noted. “Without a cohesive and effective offensive line, no offense can be successful. I enjoy knowing my team depends on my performance every play.”
For Brown, who has been playing football since he was 7, he understands what it takes to make a difference on the field, which includes hard work in the weight room and in practices.
“I believe a successful center is critical to a successful football team,” he said. “My teammates recognize me as a leader both on and off the field. I believe my actions and leadership among my teammates is one of my true football strengths. I know my teammates depend on me during the games and practices for leadership—and my teammates know I am here to protect and support them.”
It’s going to be a busy summer for Brown, who will be participating in lineman/football camps at Louisiana State University, University of Georgia, Auburn University, University of Central Florida and the Florida Down and Dirty Lineman Camp.
“I want to continue to improve—which will benefit both my team and me,” he said. “Improvement is the key to remaining competitive and succeeding in the future.”
In regard to a future after high school, the well-spoken Brown knows that success on the field and in academics goes hand in hand.
“I am also working to progress in the classroom,” he said. “I recognize success on the field can only help you advance to the next level if placed in conjunction with success in the classroom. I am proud of my academic successes and improvements, as well.”
While Brown is gearing up to make an impression at The Show, he can’t wait to take the field again with the Fort Walton Beach Vikings. He truly enjoys his gridiron experience.
“The part of football I enjoy the most is the family-like bond I have developed with my teammates,” he said. “Beginning with spring camp, into the long summer camp and into the fall season, I have developed a true sense of trust and bond with the guys around me. All football players, especially us big guys in the trenches, must believe in the guy next to them. I am excited to be part of that football family. I know those friendships will continue long after my days as a football player.”
Article written by Tom Warnick.
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