Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A diamond 'tween the hedges

Georgia has former players all over the NFL landscape. And they're not just filling out roster spots. They're making an impact on games from positions all over the field. You didn't have to watch much of this weekend's NFL slate to see a former UGA player on the field.

And the one I find most intriguing is Marlon Brown. The guy who once donned a Georgia cap on national television before finishing out a lackluster career in Athens is now taking full advantage of a roster need in Baltimore. (h/t Weiszer)
Marlon Brown
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound former Georgia player has emerged as one of quarterback Joe Flacco's most frequent targets, catching eight passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Brown leads the team in touchdown catches, ranks third in receptions, second in receiving yards and has a 13.8 average per reception.
"To come into a team where they have some wide receiver issues, I had an opportunity to come in and start playing early," Brown said. "I've just been trying to seize every opportunity I get."
To say the Ravens are pleased with Brown despite a dropped pass Sunday during a 14-6 win over the Cleveland Browns would be an understatement.
"Marlon Brown is a humble, hungry, hard-working guy," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "There are plenty of things he can get better at, route-running wise and playmaking-wise. He stays after it, and he made some big plays for us."
That's a guy that only made 11 starts and 55 catches in his college career, and he's now turning heads in the infancy of his NFL career. And before everyone starts griping about this and that, I chalk this up to a "late-bloomer" situation. Both on and off the field.

We all knew Brown had this kind of talent in him, and to be honest we saw a lot of it last season before he was injured. But he played in high school against competition that, by my untrained eye at least, did not ready him for the SEC. So it took awhile for him to rise above the coverage.

Regardless, really proud of what Brown has done thus far. Coach Harbaugh got a good one at a cheap price - 3 years for $1.5 million. Not a bad value. But hopefully the diamond has only begun to shine.