Deonte Brown honored to represent Alabama football at Senior Bowl after 2020 season

Brett Hudson
Tide Sports

Growing up in Decatur, Alabama, a five-hour drive up Interstate 65 from Mobile, Deonte Brown was well aware of the Senior Bowl. Some of the top NFL Draft prospects converging on Mobile for a week of practice and a game is quite the attraction for many in the state.

This winter, Brown will participate in the practices and play in the game.

Brown is the first Alabama football player invited to this season's Senior Bowl, and he has accepted the invite. He plays his final game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday against Auburn.

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“I was very, very grateful for it, and I was excited to get it,” Brown said. “I really didn’t expect for me to get it but when I did I was very humble about it.”

Brown has the potential to be a valuable prospect in that setting for his ability to play left and right guard. Many offensive linemen who switch sides of the line are bogged down by the technique involved: leading your drop-backs for pass protection and your forward steps for run blocking with different feet, based on the stance required for the left and right sides of the ball.

Alabama offensive lineman Deonte Brown (65) and Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood (70) begin pass blocking during Alabama's game with Texas A&M Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Bryant-Denny Stadium. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

Brown didn’t see that as a hurdle, giving him more time to focus on the challenge of mentally flipping responsibilities dependent on being left or right of the center.

Brown is part of a unit that has drawn the attention of the Joe Moore Award, given to the best offensive line in the nation. The unit has paved the way for running back Najee Harris to rank fifth in the SEC in yards per carry and first in the SEC in runs of 10 yards or more.

“What sticks out most about Deonte Brown for me is when he pulls and he's one-on-one with whoever's coming that he's pulling against,” Harris said. "It's not a good sight for that (defender). So me just seeing him making those plays, that's really what sticks out.”

Brown’s mauling run-blocking is another trait that will likely help him when practicing in front of NFL coaching staffs and executives at the Senior Bowl. For now, Brown has a different bowl in mind.

“Any kid that plays football in Alabama,” Brown said of the Iron Bowl, “they dream of this game.”

Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or bhudson@tuscaloosanews.com or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson