While their high school football careers might be over, in the near future you might hear of Brownstown’s Clay Brown completing a pass to Jacob Wilson.
That’s because this week Brown and Wilson returned to the football field — as Grizzlies instead of Braves.
Following graduation in the spring, the two agreed they would attend
Franklin College, live together as roommates and play football.
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“I decided to play football because it’s one of my favorite things to do,” Brown said. “I love playing, watching and everything about football. Franklin reminded me of a small-town atmosphere. It’s a small school with 1,000 kids. I feel like I will fit in there. Overall, it just feels like home.”
In 2014, the dynamic duo carried the Braves’ offense.
Brown finished his senior year with 1,948 passing yards by completing 134 passes on 208 attempts with 32 touchdowns and two interceptions, while Wilson had 51 rushing attempts for 667 rushing yards, caught 30 passes for 670 receiving yards and scored 21 TDs.
Up until their 27-16 loss to Charlestown in the sectional, the Braves were 10-0 on the season.
“I’m looking forward to just getting back into it,” Wilson said. “After losing last season, thinking it’s all over and I wouldn’t play again, it was like a dagger.”
Brown said he hopes to play quarterback again in college.
“I sure would like to play quarterback, but if they need me to do something else, I’m sure I could,” he said. “Quarterback is what I’ve played my whole life, so I hope to stick to that. They run a spread (offense), mixed with some pro style. It’s a no-huddle, up-tempo type of deal.
“I’m going to have an opportunity to compete for some playing time, that’s all you can ask for. Just a chance. I know I’m a freshman, and I’m not entitled to play right away.”
While it might not be immediate, Brown hopes to connect with Wilson again on the field.
“(Wilson) is a pretty good player, and he’s also one of my best friends,” Brown said. “Having him on our team in high school helped us, he was a great player. It’s a pretty good deal.”
Wilson added, “Ever since sixth grade, we’ve been good friends; that’s when I started playing sports in Brownstown. I would love to be catching passes from Clay again.”
For the Braves, Wilson played a wide receiver and running back on offense and safety on defense.
“I would love to play wide receiver,” Wilson said. “They said I could either play safety or wide receiver. They lost a few senior safeties and have a need on the defense. I like both; I like to hit people and score touchdowns.”
Leading up to this past Sunday’s first practice, Brown and Wilson have worked together on their catching and throwing on top of weightlifting.
The Grizzlies, members of the NCAA Division III’s Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, went 8-3 in 2014.
“Franklin has been to the playoffs for the past seven or eight years,” Brown said. “I want to make a far run in the Division III tournament. That’s always your main goal, to win it all — a national championship.”
Academically, Brown plans to study business and Wilson will concentrate on political science.
Both players said that getting a college degree is their primary goal while attending Franklin.
What: Paoli (0-0) at Brownstown Central (0-0)
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Blevins Memorial Stadium
Coaches: Brian Balsmeyer, 73-35 in 10th year at Paoli. Reed May, 218-43 in 23rd year at Brownstown Central.
Most recent meeting: Brownstown Central won 38-0 on Aug. 23, 2014.
Series past 30 years: Brownstown Central 18-6