Spencer Brown knew long before he started playing on the offensive line that he eventually wanted to be a left tackle.
“They make the most money,” the Michigan State commit said Friday with a smile. Left tackles, who protect a right-handed quarterback’s blind side, are typically the hottest commodity on an offensive line.
Up until this season, though, Brown had been solely on the defensive line. He committed to Michigan State in July and earned a 4-star rating in the 247Sports composite before playing a game at tackle, but that’s where his future seems to lie.
SpartanRE19N 🔋🔋 pic.twitter.com/04W1YUj8mt
— Spencer Brown5️⃣8️⃣ (@s_brown55) September 1, 2017
“When [Michigan State] first saw me work out at offensive tackle, I was coachable and I worked hard, and I was just getting better over the offseason,” Brown said. “They looked at my potential, and then I came out here and still worked hard. It looks like I’ve been playing tackle for a while.”
Brown and Walled Lake (Mich.) Western coach Mike Zdebski wanted Brown to make the transition when he transferred from nearby Walled Lake Northern. Colleges already had been projecting him as a tackle.
And though he prefers left tackle, Brown finds himself plugged in all across the line. At 6-foot-6 and about 300 pounds, he towers over high school opponents. The only position he definitively won’t play is center — at least not yet. Instead, he’ll focus on improving on the outside.
“I’ve got to work on a lot of stuff,” Brown said. “Just everything. I’m not done yet. This is my first year. I barely know how to play it, so I’ve still got to get better all around.”
He has found a better environment in which to improve. Since transferring after his sophomore season, Brown said his grades have risen significantly thanks to the support of Zdebski and the Warriors program.
The fit looks much better, as evidenced by Brown’s content demeanor. Even with the disappointment of a 47-37 loss to Waterford (Mich.) Mott, he looked at peace, as though he knew he had found the right spot.
“He’s a really funny kid, but he’s a good kid, too,” quarterback and teammate Sam Johnson said. “He knows when to turn it on and when to turn it off. He’s just fun to play around.”
Brown got his rankings and ratings mostly on potential. Along with earning 4-star honors, he ranks as the No. 34 tackle in the nation and the eighth-best prospect in Michigan.
His production has begun to inch closer to his potential. Under the tutelage of Zdebski, a Michigan High School Football Association Hall of Fame inductee with more than 200 career wins, Brown is making the progress that will have him ready for college in 2019.
“I’ve been learning how to play real football,” Brown said. “I’m taking it day by day and working hard every day.”