Not many first round picks in the NFL Draft once played for College of the Canyons, a community college in Santa Clarita, CA. Then again, not many first round picks are Marquise Brown.
“Hollywood,” as he’s known to just about everyone, spent the first year of his collegiate career catching passes at the junior level after not receiving a single Division 1 scholarship offer.
California junior colleges are not allowed to offer athletic scholarships, so technically, he didn’t get a community college scholarship offer either. Still, Brown refused to give up on his dreams of playing at a Power 5 school one day, and was determined to prove himself at COC.
Prove himself he did. After just a single season in California, Brown received a litany of new offers. He chose to attend Oklahoma, a wise decision considering he spent his next two seasons catching passes thrown by Heisman Trophy winners, a pattern that will continue with Lamar Jackson in Baltimore.
To make it through his year with COC, he had to do something most top picks never have to. He had to get a job.
Brown worked as a roller coaster operator at Six Flags Magic Mountain to make ends meet. His time spent there helped shape his work ethic and commitment, and the results were the same as on the football team at Oklahoma: everyone who met Brown immediately fell in love with his attitude and energy as he quickly rose through the ranks.
The young wideout has had to go through a lot to reach the point of being drafted by the Ravens at 25th overall. He had to walk to work, not owning a car or a bike. He had to balance football, school and a job. He had to (and will continue to) prove doubters wrong when it comes to his size and durability. He had to show he can do more on a football field than just run really, really fast.
The number of successful NFL wide receivers who weigh under 170 pounds (Brown clocks in at 166) is close to nonexistent, but Brown isn’t concerned about that. He quickly acquitted himself to his coworkers at Six Flags, his teammates at Oklahoma, and the decision-makers in the Ravens front office. He has confidence he’ll do the same with his new teammates, and opponents can doubt him at their own peril.
If there’s anything to take away from the long journey Brown’s taken to reach this point, it’s that fans who doubt him are doing so at their own peril, too.
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