Clarke Central High School, in Athens, Georgia, has been known to produce some great football talent year-in and year-out and this year with the help of Zay Brown, University of South Carolina commit, they did not disappoint.
“The coaching staff (at USC), the players, the comfort, the distance from my mom and my step-dad… was a big impact,” Brown said.
Brown knew from a young age that playing football was something he really wanted to do and he made some life-long promises to his mom in order to keep this dream afloat.
“I remember him being like maybe 6 or 7 years old, he was like momma I’m not gonna drink, I’m not gonna smoke, I’m play football, make 30,000 dollars a year and get you a house,” Zay’s mother, Khalilah Jackson Harris, said.
Brown seemed to have done everything for the Gladiators this season as he played safety, wide receiver, punt returner and kick returner. His main position is safety, while he plans on playing safety and helping out on special teams during his tenure with the Gamecocks.
During his senior season, Brown really had to step up as a leader and help bring his team together. The team was going through a transition period with a new head coach, David Perno, former UGA baseball coach.
At Brown’s signing day, Wednesday, Feb. 1, Coach Perno stressed, to me and the rest of the audience at Clarke Central High School that morning, how important it is to have leadership accountability within a team that has a new head coach, and said Brown fits that role perfectly.
Prior to this season, Perno had no coaching experience with football, something a lot of Clarke Central players were skeptical about at first, which is why Brown had to step up and help keep the team together.
Despite no coaching experience, Perno and company managed to finish the regular season with a 6-4 record and advanced to the second-round of the playoffs before being eliminated by Stockbridge 37-13.