By Chris Hatfield–
You’ve probably heard the old adage, “good things come to those who wait.”
Louisville sophomore tailback Dominique Brown is the perfect example of that. For a year, Brown seemed like he would fall into the abyss of a highly-touted recruit that would never produce. In his freshman season, Brown saw very limited action in nine games and it seemed like he might never live up to recruiting expectations. However it wasn’t because he lacked the talent – he just hadn’t been put in the right position to succeed. Following a loss to Florida International University, Louisville was left searching for answers, mainly at the running back position. That’s when eyes turned to Brown.
“We just feel like he’s too good of an athlete for us not to have him on the field, so running back was a natural progression,” said running back and special teams coach Kenny Carter, echoing the sentiments of head coach Charlie Strong.
“We can’t leave someone as talented as Brown on the sideline,” said Strong.
It clearly has seemed natural for Brown, who came out running over 90 yards against rival Kentucky. Not too shabby for kid that many believed was a proverbial bust.
”It really wasn’t that hard of an adjustment,” Brown said, when asked about the switch from quarterback to running back. “Coming out of high school I ran the ball 95 percent of time.”
Along with being a stellar talent, Brown also seems to be a selfless individual who cares about his team first and foremost.
“Whatever makes the team better, I’ll do it,” he said. “Go to receiver, go to safety, running back, whatever,” said Brown.
A type of player like Brown is a must right now for a Louisville Cardinal team that is searching for senior leadership from their coaching staff after a disappointing 2-2 start. Although Strong may be searching for leadership, Brown says he has found his leaders.
“Victor Anderson and Jeremy Wright have been great leaders,” Brown noted, “It’s been a great motivation and great leadership from those two.”
Despite some struggles that the running back core has had as a team, Brown has faced challenges his whole life, and he says it’s just motivation.
“It motivates us more,” Brown stated when asked about dealing with loss. “We were coming to UK [game] week, with a loss to FIU, so hopefully [winning] will carry over into North Carolina, after a loss to Marshall.”
It seems as if the performance against Kentucky for Dominique Brown may have been just the tip of the iceberg.
“The best of Dominique we haven’t seen yet,” Coach Carter hinted. “You don’t have to run that much at quarterback in practice. Once he made that adjustment and he kind of got his legs under him, now he’s starting to really come on.”
Photo: Michael Baldwin/The Louisville Cardinal