Former COC star eyes draft-day dream

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When Marquise Brown was 10 years old, he went to the Super Bowl with teammate Shaddrick Lowery. The Pop Warner Super Bowl, that is.

“We went to the Super Bowl three times,” Lowery said. “We won one. We were the best every year — (we) were always the best players on the team.”

Now, if Brown makes it to another Super Bowl, it could be in the NFL. The former College of the Canyons and University of Oklahoma receiver declared for the NFL Draft on Wednesday.

“We’re extremely proud of Marquise,” said COC head coach Ted Iacenda. “I kind of felt and I said as such to a few people before he had made a decision, what more else is there really for him to do a that level?”

“Gosh, he’s been one of if not the most electrifying players in college football the last two years, and now it’s time for him to chase another level.”

In two seasons with the Sooners, Brown caught 132 passes for 2,413 yards and 17 touchdowns. In his one season at COC, he hauled in 50 passes for 754 yards and 10 touchdowns.

He dazzled with his speed throughout his college football career, but according to Lowery, Brown has been quick ever since he was a kid.

“Marquise was always the smallest, but he was always the fastest,” Lowery said. “It’s always been that way. Always is a hard worker, always had the most heart. He was a little feisty, too, always.”
Iacenda concurred. He remembers Brown as a player who was always willing to help, whether it was with his own team or helping out in community outreach efforts.

“The thing that strikes you immediately, and struck us immediately, was his humility and his work ethic — it was just so contagious,” he said.

Brown, like Lowery, is from Hollywood, Fla. Lowery said that Brown is the main reason he ended up at COC. After not receiving NCAA clearance out of high school, he contacted Brown for advice.

Brown reached out to his coaches, who showed interest in Lowery immediately. The childhood teammates worked out together at Canyons and Lowery returned home quickly made his decision.
Soon after, Brown was waiting at LAX to pick up Lowery.

“He’s a living testament that’s coming from the same area and going the same route,” Lowery, who recently committed to University of New Mexico, said. “That motivates me, it pushes me to go harder.”

If Brown reaches the NFL, he’ll join several other former Cougars who have joined the pro ranks. Domata Peko is currently a lineman for the Denver Broncos, while Jason Pierre-Paul is a defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

ESPN projects Brown as the No. 1 wide receiver prospect and the 18th overall in the NFL Draft, which will begin April 25.

At College of the Canyons, however, he’s already famous. Iacenda said that his name alone is attracting players to the football program. Players who want to be the “next Marquise Brown,” the coach said.

“We kept track all year. We watched him all the time,” Lowery said. “For the most time we watched him. if we couldn’t watch him, we watched the highlights.”

“I would tell him congrats, but truly it’s not done yet. Got a lot more to accomplish. It’s been a long time coming. He’s a true testament to turning nothing to something.”

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