East Central standout Tony Brown named 2017 Gatorade Mississippi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

East Central standout Tony Brown named 2017 Gatorade Mississippi Player of the Year

East Central running back Tony Brown celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the 2017 Class 4A South State Championship Game against Poplarville. East Central running back Tony Brown celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the 2017 Class 4A South State Championship Game against Poplarville.
HURLEY, MS (WLOX) -

Even after an incredible, record-breaking senior season, the news still came as a shock to Tony Brown.

"I mean, I saw it on Twitter out of nowhere," Brown said. "I was like, wow! It was a great feeling."

But to those that watched the East Central running back play this year, the news comes as no big surprise.

"Of course, we're biased, but we thought all year that we had the best player in the state on our team," Hornets head coach Seth Smith said. "That just validates what we thought."

Brown earned 2017 Gatorade Mississippi Football Player of the Year honors, the first recipient in East Central history. 

"I got the honor of being called the Player of the Year and it's absolutely awesome," Brown said with a smile. "I can't hold it in." 

Racking up 2,748 rushing yards to go with 50 total touchdowns, Brown led the Hornets (13-1) to their first State Championship game in program history.

Even if his remarkable season came up just a bit short, having to leave an eventual title game loss in the second quarter with a separated shoulder, "Touchdown" Tony Brown still leaves behind an incredible legacy in Hurley. 

"I'm a guy (that) ever since I was little - I even told my parents this - I want to be remembered," Brown said. "That's something I plan on doing. I want to make an impact on people's lives."

Brown, amazingly, still doesn't hold a single Division 1 collegiate offer (the 5-foot-10, 185-pound senior holds offers from MGCCC and Mississippi College). However, Smith isn't concerned with the future for his star running back.

"You don't score 92 touchdowns because you're average, you score 92 touchdowns because you're exceptional," Smith said of Brown's total touchdown number over the last two seasons. "It doesn't matter where he goes, Mississippi College, (Gulf Coast), South Alabama, Southern Miss. Wherever he goes, he'll have an immediate impact and he'll help somebody be successful."

Between the Gatorade Player of the Year honors, the State Championship finalist medal and the Bernard Blackwell North/South All-Star Game selection, Brown's trophy case seems to be getting quite crowded these days.

"It's getting bigger," Brown said with a laugh. "It's getting bigger. I'm glad we're actually making a trophy shelf. We haven't really had one, but we're making one. Gonna be pretty full."

Brown plans to wait until National Signing Day in February to make a decision about his collegiate future. 

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