Brown Comes Through for NIU

Dale Brown has played football almost his entire life. The Lee's Summit West tight end fulfilled a lifelong dream when he accepted a scholarship offer last week from Northern Illinois. Brown breaks down his decision to play for the Huskies with FOX Sports NEXT.

Lee's Summit (MO) West tight end Dale Brown, Jr. is hard to miss. At 6-foot-5, 225-pounds, the two-sport standout is known for using his massive frame to pave the way for one of the top offensive units in Kansas City when not grabbing rebounds on the hardwood.

Northern Illinois took notice.

"I think what got me attention in the first place is that I block," Brown said, the pride evident in his voice. He added with a smile, "Not many blocking tight ends. I think that's what they liked about me."

A Suburban Big-Six All-Conference honoree, opposing coaches recognize his value to the Titans offense. Despite logging only a single reception in 2012, a 33-yard touchdown catch, The Huskies believe he can be a factor in their wide-open passing attack.

"They said they want to get me the ball. I'll be a playmaker if I go up there. They will probably have me doing a lot of blocking, too, but it's going to be going both ways. I'm excited about that. Plus, it's a fast-tempo game speed, so I like that too."

The Titans tight end was impressed with the leadership of the Northern Illinois program, noting the connection between the players and coaches.

"What really stood out to me is the coaching staff. They care about their players. They pay a lot of attention to their players, and they listen. They are a family-oriented staff."

"Family was a huge part of my decision. I talk to my parents a lot. I asked them if they liked the school. They really liked it. I've got a lot of family in Chicago, just 45 minutes away. It's a really good deal, family-wise."

Lee's Summit West has become one of the premiere football programs in The Show Me State under the guidance of head coach Royce Boehm. The Titans boast several Division 1 prospects in the class of 2014, with standout receiver Monte Harrison and Missouri commits Kevin Pendleton and Logan Cheadle chief among them.

"There's a reason we have this many good players out here," Brown said. "It's the level of competition. I don't even know how to explain it. You just keep working hard."

"A state championship," Brown said when asked his goals for the 2013 season. "We've got to get to the dome. We've got to put that work in and go get it."

The Titans fell in heartbreaking fashion in the 2012 Class 5 state quarterfinals. After rolling through the regular season with 8 blowout wins and a single defeat, Brown knows everyone will be gunning for them in 2013.

"We will have a lot of personal games this year. It's going to be fun though. I love those kind of games, those emotional games. They make you play harder."

Brown knows what a scholarship could mean for his future. Having worked for years to reach this point, he understands the opportunity the Huskies have given him.

"I've played football all my life," Brown said, trailing off. "My dad told me, since I was a little boy, that it was meant for education. That will take you farther than anything."

"I just want to thank my family and God for where I'm at right now."

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