Andre Brown: quarterback of offense and defense

Columbia quarterback Andre Brown, who also plays safety, leads the county in quarterback statistics. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Football teams that have good quarterbacks usually have them playing just the quarterback position.

However, that is not the case for Columbia’s Andre Brown. Brown plays quarterback and safety for the Columbia Eagles.

“He’s our quarterback on offense, quarterback on defense, and quarterback in the locker room,” said Columbia coach David Edwards.

Brown has been playing quarterback since he was 6 years old and started playing defense when he transferred to Columbia from Grady High School two years ago. He and the coaches realized he was good as a defensive back and decided to let Brown play both positions.

Playing both sides of the ball does not affect Brown’s play as a quarterback or safety. Brown leads all DeKalb County quarterbacks in completion percentage with 65 percent.

After five weeks, he threw for 620 yards, had seven touchdowns and two interceptions. He is second on the team in rushing yards with 185 and leads the team in rushing touchdowns with five. Last season, Brown finished fourth in the county with a 60.4 completion percentage, threw for 1,673 yards and had 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Coming into this season, Brown said he wanted to be the No. 1 quarterback in the county.

“That was one of my goals for this year,” he said. “Last year I believe I was in the top five. Thanks to my team, my offensive linemen, my receivers—I’m able to achieve these goals.”

On defense, Brown is fourth on the team with 21 total tackles, one interception and a forced fumble. In the Sept. 26 win against Lithonia, Brown had a passing touchdown, a rushing touchdown and intercepted a Lithonia pass.

Brown said playing both sides of the ball is not difficult for him.

“It’s kind of better,” he said. “When I’m at safety I know what the quarterback does because I play the position. So I know where he’s going to throw the ball most of the time.”

Last season, Brown finished second on the team in defense with 48 tackles, two tackles for a loss, one interception and two fumble recoveries. His skills on and off the field caught the attention of college recruits from some of the top schools in the country.

Brown, who has a 3.5 GPA, has received offers from Harvard, Yale, Indiana, Duke, Wake Forest, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Georgia State, Georgia Southern and others, according to ESPN’s Recruiting Nation. Brown committed to Indiana Aug. 13 as a defensive back. He said he chose Indiana because the university felt like home to him.
“When I went up there, I just loved the facilities. I loved the coaches, it felt like home and I just loved it,” he said.

Edwards said Brown is a player who does not talk much, but leads by example.

“They’re [players] that I have that need somebody that can show by example,” Edwards said. “That’s what he brings to the table, not only with his athletic ability, but in terms of his character and leadership abilities.”

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