Some guys determined to play quarterback have to lower their sights and settle for another position to get the chance to play. For Woodbridge senior quarterback Alex Brown, it was just the opposite.
Brown entered high school as a running back but eventually realized that his playing time would be sparse as long as star rusher Andre Bratton (now at Miami of Ohio) was around.
So before his junior season, Alex Brown the running back morphed into Alex Brown the quarterback, a position he knew would be an open competition that August.
"I was trying to get on the field any way I could," Brown said. "That was one position that I always wanted to try, just from playing catch in the back yard and having a pretty good arm."
The move has paid off personally, and for the program. With Brown sharing time at quarterback last season, the Vikings went 7-4 and reached the playoffs for the first time since 1997.
This year, of No. 18 Woodbridge's 20 offensive touchdowns, the 6-foot-1, 208-pound Brown has rushed for 10 and thrown for four. He and the Vikings (6-1, 2-0), winners of six in a row for the first time since 1996, will try to add to that touchdown total tonight at No. 2 Hylton (7-0, 2-0) in a game that likely will determine the Cardinal District regular season champion.
"The hardest thing probably was learning how to be a leader," Brown said. "At running back, you just follow and do whatever the quarterback tells you to do. I had to learn everybody's position because they all looked to me for what to do."
Woodbridge figured to need a strong offensive leader this season in particular, because the defense was bringing back only one starter. Brown's blossoming as the full-time quarterback has been aided by a veteran offensive line and the emergence of freshman running back DeAntwan Williams, who has rushed for 590 yards and five touchdowns to complement Brown's 820 offensive yards.
"Last year, I was a running back playing quarterback," Brown said. "I feel like the quarterback now."