The first two-sport athlete of the Nick Saban era, Tony Brown made headlines well before the start of spring football as a member of Alabama’s indoor track team.
His performance throughout the Crimson Tide’s 15 spring football practices — combined with Alabama’s lack of experienced veterans at cornerback — only made him more popular among his newest fans.
Saban certainly hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Brown emerging as a starting cornerback by the time Alabama opens the season against West Virginia, and it’s a challenge Brown appears to have embraced entering his first season.
His mother, Tammy Walker-Brown, said as much Tuesday in an interview with the Beaumont Enterprise, the hometown newspaper in Brown’s native Texas.
“He’s going to do whatever he has to do to start,” Walker-Brown told The Enterprise. “If it doesn’t happen, he’s going to be patient and wait his turn.”
Brown’s spring didn’t come without a little adversity, as he re-injured his shoulder when he fell over a hurdle. That ended his first season with the Alabama track team, but he played through the pain — mostly with a non-contact jersey — while competing to fill one of two vacant cornerback spots. His opportunities grew when sophomore Eddie Jackson, who was a regular with the first-team defense, went down with a knee injury.
Brown’s performance at A-Day was certainly encouraging, as he broke up two passes, intercepted another and picked up two tackles as a member of the second-team defense. Brown’s father Tony Sr., who recently suffered a stroke, made the trip to Tuscaloosa to see it all unfold, Walker-Brown told The Enterprise.
“Tony’s going to be great,” senior safety Jarrick Williams said in April. “There’s just a lot of stuff he can improve on and stuff he’s got to learn. He’s going to be great when he gets it all.”
Check out the rest of the Enterprise’s feature.