Montevallo’s Oden, Brown attend Nike camp
Published 12:43 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2016
By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor
ATLANTA – On Sunday, March 20, Montevallo quarterback Zac Oden and defensive back TreShawn Brown attended the invite-only Nike+ Football The Opening Regional camp in Atlanta with some of the top football prospects in the country. The camp, which consisted of 382 kids from 15 different states, was comprised of a single day of athletic tests such as the 40-yard dash and the shuttle run, one-on-one drills and seven-on-seven games.
Brown and Oden are both juniors at Montevallo who were major contributing factors to the Bulldogs’ renaissance season in 2015, and will look to continue their newfound success next season as seniors. Brown was named a First Team ASWA All-State selection at defensive back in 2015 while Oden was an Honorable Mention ASWA All-State selection at quarterback, both in the 4A class. Both were named First Team All-County players as well last season, and the opportunity to go to a camp and compete against some of the top prep prospects was exhilarating for both.
“This was the first time I’ve ever been to something as big as this was,” Oden said of the experience. “I’ve been to (a camp at) Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee, but nothing quite that big. It took me a minute to warm up and get comfortable, just with that many people and that many good players around. Once I settled in I did alright.”
Both Brown and Oden received invitation to the camp while at school a few months ago, a moment Brown remembered well.
“We were at school and Coach (Trey) Simpson called us up to the front office,” Brown recalled. “We were excited about it. I was super excited about the chance to go.”
Both fared well at the camp, with Brown especially excelling in the testing component of the day, coming in with a 40 time of 4.95 seconds and a vertical jump of 32 inches.
Oden and Brown, who have been playing football together since they were five years old, did not get to do any one-on-one work at the camp against each other like they hoped they might be able to, but said they see enough of each other during high school practices.
“I was hoping I would (go against him in drills),” Oden said. “But we go against each other in practice. He’s always trying to pick me off and whatnot.”
“I thought we were going to go against each other, but we didn’t,” Brown added, echoing Oden’s thoughts. “Me Zac and Ahmad (Edwards, Second Team ASWA All-State selection) go at it a little bit in practice,” Brown added. “I get him when I can.”
Oden is unique in the sense that he has been a starting varsity quarterback since his freshman season. The 6-foot-2-inch, 185-pound senior remembers vividly his first game under center as a young freshman, a virtual necessity on that Montevallo team due to a sheer lack of numbers.
“The first game of my freshman year was probably the most nerve-wracking game of my life,” Oden said. “I wasn’t going to start initially, but I came in in the second quarter and just never came back out.”
Brown has been starting at defensive back since late in his sophomore year, and the experience the two brought to last year’s team helped lead Montevallo to the second round of the 4A playoffs. When asked what both want their senior seasons to look like, both just want to build on the team’s newfound success.
“I mean just identical to last year,” Oden said. “Most of the line is coming back and they did a great job of giving me time. It helps to have guys like Ahmad and Daqwan (Bryant) to throw to also.”
“We want to try to win state,” Brown added simply.
Both have aspirations of playing college football, although neither has made any decisions regarding where they might play.