As far as Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson is concerned, there's just one thing wrong with senior defensive end Courtney Brown: "He isn't a twin. He's the kind of kid who comes along once in a lifetime. You could put him in a room by himself and let him run things, and truly the world would be a better place. I wish there were a thousand Courtney Browns."
So do NFL scouts. Brown, a 6'5", 270-pound block of granite blessed with an 86-inch wingspan, is strong enough to bulldoze blockers and agile enough to dance around them In 1998 he led the Nittany Lions with 11� sacks and had a school-record 23 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for a stunning minus-139 yards. He was at his best against Purdue, finishing with seven tackles, including four hits for minus-29 yards and three sacks.
Brown was first team All-Big Ten and the MVP of the Outback Bowl. Michigan coach Lloyd Carr calls him the best pass rusher he'd seen in 10 years. "When it comes to rushing the quarterback, he's got everything we look for," says one NFL player personnel director. "He's got the ability to be a top five pick." To get drafted that early, however, Brown needs to bulk up a bit and improve his run-stuffing ability.
"For any football player the NFL is the ultimate achievement," Brown says. "I will do what it takes to get there, but right now the task at hand for me is to help accomplish the goals of our team at Penn State."
A dean's list student working toward a degree in integrative arts, Brown is such a soft-spoken guy off the field that Johnson has nicknamed him the Quiet Storm. "You know how a storm can sneak up on you?" says Johnson. "Well, Courtney's like that. He's quiet, and then the ball snaps and he explodes and engulfs people."