• John Macon Gillespie

SES Mississippi: All Or Nothing For Brown

This past season was a breakout year for Starkville wide receiver AJ Brown. The 6-2, 220-pounder hauled in 52 passes for 1,019 yards and 16 scores while his Jackets had a near perfect run before falling to the eventual champion South Panola Tigers in the 6A North State Title game.

Brown caught just 18 passes as a sophomore for Starkville before exploding onto the scene as a junior. He credits a lot of his success to the effort he had to put forth to recover from a knee injury he suffered in the spring of 2014.

"I think me getting injured really helped my game a lot because I went to therapy constantly," Brown told SES. "I was trying to get back where I was before. I would work out like twice a day and finally when I was ready to play, I just never stopped working out."

Starkville stormed through their schedule this past season, averaging over 37 points per game and completing a perfect record heading into the playoffs. After blowout wins in the first two rounds of the 6A playoffs, the Jackets fell just short of beating South Panola and securing a spot in the championship game.

Brown says knowing nothing but victory and then having to leave the season after their first and only loss has been a very tough pill to swallow and now there is only one goal for the 2015 season. "It's all or nothing," Brown declared. "Like we have to make this happen. We are chasing after perfection this year. Getting put out the playoffs by the same team two years in a row just leaves a bad taste our mouths."

Starkville will head into spring practices looking to fill some very big shoes left behind at the quarterback position by Memphis signee Brady Davis as well as other key positions.

Does Starkville have players ready to step up and fill these spots? “We will find out this spring,” Brown ansered.

**Photos courtesy of MHSAA

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