Sidwell Friends defensive lineman Miles Brown is trained for running uphill. He and his teammates do it all the time, sprinting up the hill behind their Wisconsin Avenue school. It’s one of the grueling conditioning workouts the Quakers coaches are putting the team through this summer: they give players 30 seconds to get up the hill — no more, no less. As their legs churn, players learn to control their breathing, to push through fatigue, and also to recover quickly: the goal is to train your body to peak — by reaching the peak — at just the right time.
Brown has learned the lessons taught by Northwest’s topography well. Despite playing at a school not known for its football, in an area where high-profile high school football teams cast wide shadows, Brown is powering through the uphill climb into the recruiting spotlight. He has earned invitations to several college camps, and Albany and Wofford offered him last week.
Brown says the looks from coaches and invites to camps, like the one he attended at Clemson earlier this month, can all be credited to Sidwell Coach John Simon, who sent out film and made calls about the 6-foot, 260-pounder after a strong junior season. Once he had the attention of college coaches, Brown says he thinks the training he’s received on that hill is helping him stand out.
“I think they like that I’m just competing, giving my all, and not having to stop,” Brown said. “This conditioning program we have, it’s horrible, but it pays off so much. At camps, I see guys with their hands on their hips, bending over, looking tired. I’m able to stand there and appear not to be tired, be in shape with some of the top guys at the camp.”
Brown didn’t know if he’d be able to keep up with some of the more highly-touted players in the country. Sidwell finished 6-4 against MAC foes and a tough out-of-conference schedule, and given the size of its football team, the Quakers don’t often face off against nationally notable squads. But Brown said after a few drills and one-on-ones against some of the nation’s best offensive linemen, he realized he wasn’t at all behind the pack skill-wise, either.
“I went against this one guy, he had a ton of offers. He beat me a couple times and I beat him a couple times, but he was a really, really tough competitor,” Brown said. “I was expecting that all day, and surprisingly, it wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be. It felt like I did a good job.”
Brown said earning notice of college programs has always been his goal, so while he wasn’t shocked to receive offers from Albany and Wofford, he was “very grateful.” Still, after strong performances at camps at Ohio State and Toledo last week, he hopes to continue his climb up Division I recruiting boards.
“[The camps and offers] are all part of the process,” Brown said. “I’m just trying to keep shooting for more.”
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