Huge expectations were placed on his shoulders, but then a freak injury occurred two weeks before the season.
"I was coming down the stairs of one of my friend's apartments, and a cat jumped out in front of me so I had to step over him. I missed the step and came down on my foot awkwardly. I sprained it real good, and that just set the tone of my whole year," added Johnny Brown.
Johnny played around 4 to 5 snaps on critical downs during
the first 6 games of the season due to the high ankle sprain. Charleston got off
to a predictable slow start due to their star player's injury.
"It was real frustrating. I will be honest. I wanted to be out there so badly for my teammates but I could barely walk. I would come down on goal line situations or when we had a 4th and 1 or something like that. But that is all I could do."
In game 7, Brown finally started feeling "75%" where he could at least get in the majority of the snaps. The last 3 games of the regular season and 2 playoff games saw him explode for had 771 rushing yards, 14 TDs while collecting 48 tackles and 4 int's at defensive back.
"By the time I starting feeling my groove, it was playoff time. I was fresh and feeling good. I ran for almost 500 yards in the two playoff games. But we got beat and came up short of winning the ring. It is disappointing to end my high school career like this. I really wanted to win one for the community. All I can do now is focus on my books."
Johnny signed with Ole Miss in February but also signed with N' West CC. Why?
"I just signed with N' West CC in case I do not qualify, but not qualifying is not even on my mind."
Where does Brown stand academically?
"I have a 2.6 overall and a 2.2 Core GPA right now. I need to pull my Core GPA up to a 2.4 so it will match my 17 on the ACT test. I have all of my core classes, I just need to pull up my GPA. If I do not pull up my GPA, I need 6 more units (1 1/2 points) on my ACT test. I am retaking the ACT in April, and I have two more chances after that to get what I need. But I am doing real good in school right now. If I finish with 2 A's and 4 B's, I will have a 2.42 Core GPA. I have 3 A's and 3 B's in those classes right now, so I am right where I need to be. I am also taking a couple of correspondence courses for insurance. I am doing everything I can to insure that I will be at Ole Miss next year. The coaches are really staying on me, real hard."
Brown's defensive back coach also had some insight into this issue.
"Johnny just was not serious about school in 9th and 10th grade," added Coach Tony Vance. "Just like a lot of kids, they do not look into the future when they are starting off in high school. It was not until last year that he realized he had to buckle down. But Johnny is doing everything that we set out for him to do last summer. He is right on course to become a full qualifier."
The next important issue is which position will Brown land at when he arrives at Ole Miss. Will the defection of Robert Elliott and the last day decision of Joe McKnight to USC land Brown at tailback?
"I really think he a natural at strong or free safety, added Coach Tony Vance. "He is big, physical, strong, and he can run sideline to sideline. We would line him up where the biggest threat was, where ever he could help us the most. He can come up and give you run support because he is so tough and strong, and he can cover the #2 or #3 WR for you because of his speed. I think he is an ideal safety. I coached the Summers brothers (Markeith Summers and Anthony Summers) and Allen Walker at Olive Branch, but Johnny is the best athlete out of all of them. That is not taking anything away from those other kids because they were all great players, but those kids were athletes playing defensive back and Johnny is an athlete who is a natural at defensive back. He is just a phenomenal defensive back. It will not take him long to make an impact in the SEC. There are not many players that can jump straight from the high school ranks to the SEC ranks and make an immediate impact, but Johnny is one of those unique guys who can."
Those are some pretty high words from a former collegiate player, so what does Brown think he does best on the field.
"I think my knowledge of the game stands out the most. I pick out the offenses or defenses weaknesses and attack them. I feel like I know what is going to happen before the snap takes place."
Has Ole Miss discussed a position with Brown lately?
"No, they just said they are going to put me where ever I can get on the field the quickest. I know they are real thin at safety, so it might be there. It really does not matter to me. I love to hit, and I do not mind getting hit. So where ever they want me, that is where I am going. I just want to make an impact as a freshman. That is my only goal."
Why did Brown decide to spend his next four to five years at Ole Miss?
"They showed me nothing but love from the time I committed to them over a year ago. I always knew where I wanted to go. I want to win some championships for my home state school."
High School Accolades: Earned 1st team All-State honors from both The Clarion-Ledger and the Mississippi Association of Coaches ... Named to The Clarion-Ledger "Dandy Dozen" team ... Named to the SuperPrep All-Region team and was rated the No. 8 player in Mississippi by that national publication ... Rated the No. 11 player in Mississippi and the No. 56 running back in the nation by Scout.com ... Rated the No. 47 player in the Southeast as a member of the Mobile Press-Register's Super Southeast 120 team ... No. 5 on The Clarion-Ledger's 10 Most Wanted list … Rated as No. 61 overall prospect in Southeast region by Tom Lemming's Prep Football ... Rated by the Sun Herald as the No. 14 player in the state of Mississippi ... Rated the No. 17 safety in the nation by ESPN.com ... As a senior in 2006, had 771 rushing yards, 14 TDs and 48 tackles ... As a junior in 2005, rushed for 1,788 yards on 204 carries and scored 24 TDs as Charleston advanced to the 3A state championship game ... Coached in high school by Perry Liles … Earned four letters in football and three in track …