Penn State has produced a plethora of great linebackers over the past decade, and it appears Cam Brown is the next Nittany Lion in line to make a name for himself in the NFL.
Coming out of high school, Brown was a four-star recruit. It didn’t take very long for him to make an impact at Penn State, as he blocked a crucial punt during the team’s showdown with Ohio State back in 2016.
This past season, Brown totaled 72 tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble. He began the year on the Butkus Award preseason watch list. Once the regular season came to an end, he received the honor of making the All-Big Ten Defense Third Team.
With the NFL Draft just two months away, we sat down with Brown to discuss his career at Penn State, the best player he’s faced in college and much more. Let’s get this interview started.
The Spun: What was your favorite moment over the course of your career at Penn State?
Cam Brown: I’d definitely have to say my favorite moment was my first ‘White Out’ back in 2016 when we beat Ohio State. That game was memorable, and I got to make a big play by blocking a punt. At the same time, there was also the energy for my first ‘White Out’ at Beaver Stadium. The fact that we won, and the fans rushed the field was honestly the best thing ever.
4 years of my life comes to a bitter sweet ending… Thank you Penn State for opening up the world to me! Thank you for teaching me life lessons. Thank you for allowing me to pursue my Kinesiology degree. And Thank you for letting me chase my dreams!
#WeAre forever #LBU pic.twitter.com/eZFggySmPe
— Cam Brown6️⃣ (@Freakyy6ix) December 30, 2019
The Spun: You faced a lot of great players over the years. Who would you say is the best?
CB: Oh, that’s a hard one. I’d say J.K. Dobbins this year. His improvements from the 2018 season to this year were incredible and it caught my eye. He was hard to get down and he was an elusive player this year, so that made a difference.
The Spun: What do you believe Penn State needs to do to get over the hump make the College Football Playoff?
CB: Honestly, I think it’s coming together. I think it’s of course beating Ohio State, and when we get it done, I think it’s going to push us to the next level or at least get us in the Playoff because you need to win the Big Ten.
Penn State's James Franklin and Cam Brown hug it out after the Cotton Bowl Gatorade bath and ensuing Franklin takedown.
(Photos via Getty Images) pic.twitter.com/AL4O2QRnQh
— Mark Wogenrich (@MarkWogenrich) December 29, 2019
The Spun: There have been a lot of rumors about James Franklin potentially leaving Penn State at some point in the future. Do you think you could see him go to the NFL, or is better suited for college football?
CB: I think his personality fits well for college because of the way he connects with the guys and runs things. But I can’t fully tell you because I’m not in the NFL yet, so I got to see how the coaches in the NFL operate first.
The Spun: What was your initial reaction when you found out you were invited to the NFL Combine and which part of the event are you looking forward to the most?
CB: The feeling was incredible; it was like a dream come true. You see guys every year at the combine on TV, so it was a dream come true for me. At the same time, I’m most excited for the 40-yard dash and the shuttle drill. There are a lot of question marks with the scouts about how fast I am. They genuinely don’t know. And with my shuttle, I feel like I’m going to move well and show them that I can change directions for a big guy.
Next stop: 2020 NFL Scouting Combine 📍
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) February 7, 2020
The Spun: Penn State has produced many great linebackers over the years. Are there any you watch film on to improve your game?
CB: I used to watch NaVorro Bowman play. His physicality and his aggression in his play was something that I admired a lot. I looked up to that. And I also watched Sean Lee from Dallas too.
The Spun: Every year at Penn State you improved. What’s that next step for you as a player?
CB: Honestly, I think it’s my tackling. I missed a lot of tackles this year because I think I was thinking about it a little bit too much, like trying not get a targeting penalty or things like that. But I think if I work on my open-field tackling, I’ll be one of the elites.
Cam Brown just reaches out and grabs the ball while still on the ground after forcing this fumble pic.twitter.com/1bLzaXcNo9
— Ben Ferree (@BFerree_) September 7, 2019
The Spun: Is there a player in the NFL right now that you’d love to tackle or a quarterback you’d love to pick off?
CB: Miles Sanders is definitely No. 1 for me right now. I got to get him back. We’ve been going at it since the Big 33 Football Classic. He always cracks jokes that he got the best of me then, so I’m going have to get him back when I get to the league.
The Spun: You’ve faced Miles Sanders, Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley in practice over the years. Who was the hardest one to stop?
CB: I don’t know, that’s a hard one. I want to say Trace because he gave me problems in practice because he has that running and throwing threat. He’d run up to the line of scrimmage and then stop on a dime and launch the ball right behind you. So yeah, I’m just going to say Trace for that one.
The Spun: What is a team getting when they select you in the NFL Draft?
CB: A leader and versatile player. I feel like I’m going to be one of the most versatile people on the field for whatever team I’m on. I won’t have to come off on third downs in coverage and things like that because I can run with some of the little guys. I feel like my leadership and versatility are two noticeable aspects of my game.
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) December 10, 2019
Earlier this year, Brown showcased his skills at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. He’ll have the chance to boost his stock with a strong showing at the NFL Combine.
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.