IWA football star heading to JMU

Published 7:13 pm Saturday, April 3, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT—Two-time all-state quarterback Daniel Brown of Isle of Wight Academy will play football for James Madison University.

Brown will redshirt during his freshman year with the Dukes, who compete in the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision. He won’t play in the fall, but he will train and practice with the team, which finished 6-5 in 2009.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “I’ve always dreamt of playing college ball but never thought it would happen because I come from an area that doesn’t get a lot of publicity.”

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The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder plans to begin playing games during his second year at the university in Harrisonburg. He hopes to be a receiver.

“That’s what I always wanted to play when I started playing for the school (IWA), but I was needed to play quarterback,” he said.

Brown, who is the son of Mike and Cathy Brown of Isle of Wight and Carolyn Brown of Burrell Bay, N.C., plans to attend James Madison for five years so he can play football while majoring in business.

Richmond, Christopher Newport and Old Dominion universities also recruited Brown.

He chose the Purple and Gold because he believed the college, which has 18,000 students, has more to offer in the way of sports and academics.

Brown began playing for IWA’s varsity football squad in eighth grade. He broke his leg during his sophomore season, yet he scored 52 career touchdowns.

During Brown’s junior year, the Chargers were 9-2 and lost in the Virginia Independent Schools Division 3 semifinals.

As a senior, he helped lead his team to a 10-1 record. The Chargers lost 22-16 to Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot in the state championship game, ending a 23-game home winning streak dating back to Oct. 21, 2005, and the team’s hopes for a fourth state title in five years.

Brown accumulated more than 1,000 yards of offense during his junior year and 1,500 yards as a senior, when he also was a defensive back and returned kicks.

Brown twice was named to the All-State Division 3 basketball team, scoring his 1,000th point during his senior year. He also plays centerfield for the Chargers’ baseball team and has hit four home runs, including two this season.

Brown will head to James Madison in early August for football camp.

He will become the second Western Tidewater athlete to play for JMU in recent years. Former Franklin High standout David Rabil was a standout kicker for the Dukes before graduating in 2007. He was part of a JMU squad that won the national championship his sophomore season.