Veteran Freshman

Morkeith Brown

Freshman defensive end Morkeith Brown knew he wasn't mature enough for college football when he graduated from Harrisburg's Central Dauphin East High School in 2003. Now he is. A three-year stint in the Army, including one year in a war zone in Afghanistan, will tend to give a young man a feeling of responsibility and personal growth.

Morkeith Brown knew he wasn't mature enough for college football when he graduated from Harrisburg's Central Dauphin East High School in 2003.

Now he is.

A three-year stint in the Army, including one year in a war zone in Afghanistan, will tend to give a young man a feeling of responsibility and personal growth. Five years later, Brown is beginning his college football career at Temple as a freshman defensive end.

"I didn't think I was ready to go to college out of high school," Brown admitted. "I wasn't in top shape, and I thought that would carry over. I needed discipline, and my mom wanted me to go into the military. So I did my three years."

Brown was a diesel mechanic in the Army, and though he wasn't on the front lines, he said he always felt in danger during his year in Afghanistan.

"It was shooting from 7 in the morning to 7 at night," Brown said. "You never knew if they were shooting into the air or shooting at you. I had my rifle loaded when I went out, but I never had to shoot anybody."

During his down time in the service, he dreamed of playing college football when his service time was up.

"That was mostly what I thought about," Brown said. "I had an uncle, Keith Brown, who played for Arizona State. He died when I was younger and I lost some passion for the game. But as I got older it all started to come back."

Brown decided to attend Lackawanna Junior College to start his college football career, but then decided not to play at the two-year school. The 6-6, 260-pounder spent an academic semester at the school but did not join the football team.

"My plan was to play there, but then I thought I could go higher," he explained. "I went to a combine and that's where Temple saw me. I wanted to see what my chances were, and obviously they were pretty good since I'm here now."

Brown enrolled at Temple last fall, but couldn't participate in team activities because he needed to improve his academic standing.

"I've learned you wait your turn, you take your time and good things will happen," Brown said. "I just want to contribute, whatever they need me to do. I feel I'm ready."

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