WMU's Asantay Brown ready to 'prove himself' with Super Bowl champion Eagles
MUSKEGON -- If Asantay Brown were at all disappointed about not being selected in the NFL draft over the weekend, then he sure wasn't showing it Monday afternoon at Mona Shores High School.
Brown was all smiles during his visit to his high school alma mater, two days after agreeing to sign a three-year deal as an undrafted free agent with the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Brown, who was an all-state receiver at Mona Shores before he served as a versatile, impact player at linebacker and safety for Western Michigan University, expects to report to the Eagles next week.
"That's exciting, you know," he beamed, when asked about getting the opportunity with the Eagles.
"Not everybody gets to join a team that just won a Super Bowl, so that's a blessing and I appreciate them to take me and give me a chance and an opportunity to play with them and prove myself.
"You can't ask for anything else but an opportunity and to be able to be part of an organization that won a Super Bowl and have the support that they have and the fans, that's just a blessing."
Brown played safety at WMU as a freshman and sophomore before he transitioned to linebacker for his final two seasons. In his Broncos career, Brown appeared in 49 games and totaled 307 tackles (18 for loss), 14 passes defended, seven forced fumbles, 6 1/2 sacks, four interceptions (one for a touchdown) and three fumble recoveries.
At Mona Shores, Brown finished his career with 100 receptions for 1,951 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Versatility makes him a valued commodity.
"I think it's a fit, what teams need what," Mona Shores coach Matt Koziak said. "Versatility, you mentioned it. You could be a really good receiver from an SEC school or a Big Ten school and have never played special teams before, so you're kind of limited in what you can do. Then you've got a kid like him that can play safety, can play outside linebacker, plays special teams. That works out being better than, 'I was drafted as a wide receiver.'
"He still is one of the toughest kids that I've ever coached," Koziak said. "You know, he's just gotten so much bigger. I think he was the same height here (a little over 6 feet tall), but 191 pounds and I think he's up to 220 now. He's put on a lot of mass. I think his greatest attribute is that, whatever any coach of his says, he does."
Koziak helped organize a local draft watch party for Brown, and his family and close friends were invited. It was more a celebration of Brown's achievements than it was some coronation.
Koziak said that it took only about 10 minutes after the draft concluded Saturday that Brown got a call from the Eagles.
"I don't believe in somebody gets drafted higher than you or you don't get drafted, that somebody's better than you or what not," Brown said. "Sometimes it just doesn't work out as planned and not everybody gets picked up, but you see a lot of people who go undrafted and make a team and have an outstanding career. You have people who (get drafted) in late-round, it doesn't really matter.
"Once you get an opportunity, it's what you do with your opportunity. Just to be given an opportunity is a blessing in itself and that's going to be (on his shoulders) to hold up my end of the bargain of signing and being able to hold up; the expectations they have for me, I've got to be able to hold up."