By Matt Noonan
Our ‘Players to Watch’ this season continue with Western New England College senior defensive back Corey Brown, who is an All-New England Football Conference performer in the classroom and on the gridiron.
* Brown grew up in Worcester and played high school football at Holy Name.
* He was one of two players to record three interceptions in 2009.
* In 2010, he led the secondary with 10 break-ups, (meaning, he deflected 10 passes by opposing quarterbacks).
* He finished the season with four interceptions for 13 yards. Yet, he did not reach the end zone. Also, he recovered two fumbles last season, but did not register a single yard afterward.
* In 12 games, which included the ECAC Div. III championship against Salisbury State, Brown tallied 24 solo tackles, 16 assisted tackles and 40 total.
2012 Outlook: Last season, the Golden Bears relied heavily on their defense, which yielded a few conference foes to 10 points of less. However, once the final whistle was blown, Brown and his defensive counterparts finished their campaign second in passing defense and first in interceptions with 24.
Brown has been a critical component of head coach Keith Emery’s defense, especially since he’s exhibited leadership on and off the field. And this season, he’ll certainly be a player to target.
Excluding Brown, WNEC also has another reliable corner by the name of Alex Miller, who is a rising senior that finished last season with five interceptions. If Emery can have both players on the same page for the entire game, then it’ll be a long day for opposing offensive coordinators.
Look for the defense to carry the Golden Bears this season, especially with the graduating loss of quarterback Bryce Brown, who Emery noted as the team’s sparkplug from a year ago. Brown will most likely be one of the leaders in interceptions this year with either four or five, and most likely tally 30-40 tackles.