Temple nose tackle Levi Brown aims to live up to expectations

Temple's Levi Brown (99) wants to pick up where he left off last season. He routinely took on multiple blockers. MITCHELL LEFF
Temple's Levi Brown (99) wants to pick up where he left off last season. He routinely took on multiple blockers. MITCHELL LEFF
Posted: August 13, 2012

It happens all the time. An unheralded player comes out of nowhere and has instant success. Then he becomes comfortable and struggles mightily after expectations increase.

Temple's Levi Brown is trying to avoid becoming that player.

Eleven months after entering the 2011 season as a backup, the nose tackle is listed as one of the Big East's rising stars in the conference's media guide.

College Sports Madness and Phil Steele are also high on the 6-foot-2, 300-pound redshirt junior.

CSM recognized Brown as a preseason all-conference selection. He garnered second-team preseason all-conference honors from Phil Steele.

"Man, I can't worry about that stuff right now," Brown said of preseason recognition. "I just have to get better at my position."

The Plainfield, N.J. native, who started the final 12 games of last season, said he has to prove that he's an elite player.

Brown knows some critics think he's overhyped, because of last season's less-than-impressive statistics (23 tackles and a half-sack).

But as a space eater, the Bethlehem Liberty High product's value isn't measured by tackles and sacks. Routinely taking on multiple blockers, he enabled former Owls middle linebacker Stephen Johnson to have a career-best 123 stops.

There's a thought that Johnson's replacement, Nate D. Smith, will have similar success lining up behind Brown.

"I do some things well on film that if you really know football, watch football, and understand football," Brown said, "you will see that I'm one of the better players at my position."

Brown's strength also sticks out on film. The strongest Owl, Brown recently did three repetitions of 425 pounds on the bench press.

"I'm [maxing out] in the upper 600 [pounds] in squats," said Brown, who said he doesn't know his maximum effort on the bench press.

But he doesn't want to be recognized for just his strength.

"He realizes that he needs to come and get better every day," Temple defensive coordinator Chuck Heater said. "It's just not going to be handed to anybody. That's for sure."

Offense sloppy. Coach Steve Addazio called Saturday's scrimmage "pretty productive."

But the Owls offense still needs to improve.

While the unit moved the ball, it was sloppy at times and committed costly red-zone penalties.

"There were some procedural issues," quarterback Chris Coyer said. "Issues getting set, getting on the ball, and getting the play off in the time that we have provided.

"Other than that, we need to learn to finish. We need to learn to finish a little bit better on offense."

Tailbacks Montel Harris and Matt Brown saw limited action before being held out of the portion of the scrimmage that was open to the media.

Redshirt freshman tailback Spencer Reid, the youngest son of Eagles coach Andy Reid, had several impressive runs.

Whittingham sidelined. Starting left guard Jeff Whittingham missed his second consecutive day of practice after twisting his left ankle during Thursday's morning practice.


Contact Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939 or kpompey@phillynews.com. Read his blog, Owls Inq at www.philly.com/OwlsInq

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