Bowl-bound back

Published 10:29 pm Friday, May 20, 2011

Running back: Nansemond River running back Lamont Brown, here against King’s Fork last season, has been invited to the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Phoenix, Ariz. on Jan. 3, 2012. Brown, a rising senior for the Warriors going into his fourth season on NR’s varsity team, earned the spot by his play at the Virginia Beach Junior Rank Camp last weekend.

Warrior rusher makes Marine All-American Bowl

Lamont Brown already knows his senior football season will last until January.

Brown, a junior running back at Nansemond River, was one of the region’s best players at the Virginia Beach Junior Rank Camp last weekend and earned a spot into the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Phoenix, Ariz. on Jan. 3, 2012.

Offseason combines are fairly new to Brown, who’s been Nansemond River’s primary rusher since his freshman season.

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“It was only my second or third one. Last year, I wasn’t too much into camps and that sort of thing, but since it’s almost my senior year now, I’m trying to get on the recruiting scene,” Brown said.

The weekend camp in Virginia Beach was unique in a couple ways. There was emphasis on fundamentals and coaching the young players rather than being about nothing except finding college prospects, said Brown.

“There were a lot of drills, a lot of running back stuff that we do in games, stuff that helps win games,” Brown said.

“We worked on specific moves, which hand to carry the ball in, how to catch the ball and hold onto it in traffic,” he said.

Being a receiver from the running back position was the main weakness the camp coaches want Brown to keep working on, he said.

Now listed at 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, which is a little taller and a little bigger from when Brown was NR’s starting tailback as a freshman through the tough Southeastern District schedule, Brown’s carried for nearly 3,000 yards in 30 games in his Warrior career.

The U.S. Marine Corps motto, Semper Fidelis, is a clue for another different facet to the local combine and Phoenix trip.

“They put us through workouts the Marine Corps does,” Brown said. “A lot of the drills and warm-ups each morning and each afternoon, before each session, we did their (the Marines) exercises as a way to improve our discipline.”

In its inaugural year, the week in Phoenix brings in underclassmen for a skills combine and seniors for a combine, practices and the bowl game. The top 100 seniors from Junior Rank camps around the nation are invited.

“It does a lot for me,” Brown said about the opportunity in Phoenix being a little extra motivation. “I’ve got to work more because I have something to prove.”

Brown’s also on the Warrior track team. With the Southeastern District meet ending Saturday at Lakeland, he’s on NR’s 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams and in the high jump.

On Sunday, Brown’s going to the Nike Football Training Combine at Duke University.

The Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl is part of Fiesta Bowl week in the Phoenix area. East will play versus West in the game, which is scheduled to be broadcast on national television.