Mike Brown's football career has taken him from Monticello High School to Liberty University -- and now, to Jacksonville, Fla., with the hopes of an NFL career.
Brown leaves Thursday for the Jacksonville Jaguars' rookie mini-camp. He'll be one of 27 players participating on a workout basis, with a contract a possibility with a strong showing.
"This is a huge opportunity for me and my family," Brown said Wednesday. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I've been presented with, so I'm trying to make the most of it."
Shortly after the final round ended in this year's NFL Draft on Saturday, Brown said he heard from former Liberty assistant Charlie Skalaski, now in his first year on the Jaguars' staff. Skalski extended the invitation to participate in the three-day camp, which starts Friday.
"I feel like I'm very well-prepared," said Brown. "I've been working hard since the end of the season. And hopefully it'll all play off this weekend."
Brown, a two-time team MVP at Monticello, was voted All-Jefferson District as a defensive back (first team), quarterback (second team), and punt returner (second team) as a senior in 2006.
After redshirting as a true freshman at Liberty in 2007, he played two seasons at wide receiver. In 2009, he became the first sophomore ever named Big South Offensive Player of the Year, after racking up 60 receptions, 1,417 all-purpose yards, and nine rushing touchdowns.
Brown moved to quarterback for his final two seasons with the Flames. As a senior in 2011, he threw for 2,664 yards and 18 touchdowns, and also ran for 437 yards and nine scores.
Brown says the Jaguars will use him as a slot receiver and return specialist this weekend, a move he says he's comfortable with.
"My plan for this weekend is just to go down there and not try to do too much," he said. "Be me, play the way that I play, and give it my all. Leave it all out on the field."
The Jaguars' camp will feature 50 players -- Brown and the other workout players, plus the team's six draft choices and 17 undrafted free agents already signed to contracts.
"I'm really excited," Brown said. "I've been waiting for this opportunity since I was a little kid running around out there on the field. The time is finally here, and tomorrow will come and I'll be ready to go."
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