Flanagan-Brown set for next level

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 7, 2004

Germaine Flanagan-Brown has had a storied career as the Keith High School Bears’ center.

A starter on the varsity squad since the ninth grade, Flanagan-Brown has become a team leader. But it was through the help of his two families – one at school and the other at home – and a key season that helped turn around his career.

Now this water boy-turned-gridiron star is preparing to take his game to the next level.

Email newsletter signup

Keith coach Harry Crum announced late last week that Flanagan-Brown had been offered a scholarship by Troy State University. Flanagan-Brown said Wednesday that Alabama, Auburn, the University of Alabama-Birmingham and Middle Tennessee State also are interested in his football talents.

“I’ll go to any place that offers me a scholarship,” Flanagan-Brown said.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Flanagan-Brown said playing football at Keith was in his blood. He got his feet wet in the fifth grade as the Bears’ water boy. One season later, he strapped on the pads for the first time.

“Coming to Keith and playing football was a tradition for me,” he said. “It feels like something I’m supposed to do.”

The tradition of being a Keith Bear goes back a bit for Flanagan-Brown. He said his mother, two aunts and three uncles also attended Keith High School.

“My family tells me to do the best I can,” he said. “They don’t put any pressure on me at all.”

Flanagan-Brown said he enjoys playing center because he can see everything that goes on.

“I can get low and see my pancake blocks,” he said. “It’s a leadership spot. I like setting an example with the way I play.”

That leadership has been a welcome sight for Crum.

While Flanagan-Brown’s family is supportive of his football career, Crum said the life of his star center/defensive tackle/linebacker changed two years ago. As a sophomore, Flanagan-Brown teamed up with former Keith quarterback Rod Jones, offensive lineman William Thomas and linebacker Jimmie Richardson.

All three of the former Keith High stars have moved on to bigger and better things. Jones, who earned All-County Player of the Year honors as a senior, is now a sophomore at Alabama State. He recently became an inactive member of the Alabama National Guard and is attending classes. Crum said Jones would likely be a walk-on at Alabama State next season.

Meanwhile, Thomas is a sophomore offensive lineman at Alabama A&M and Richardson a freshman linebacker at Alabama A&M.

“That season was a great experience for Germaine,” Crum said. “Those guys had such a love and intensity for the game. Germaine learned the game from that group.”

Flanagan-Brown’s season took a slight detour last week when he suffered a hairline fracture in his left wrist against Pickens County.

On Wednesday, Flanagan-Brown showed up for practice with the wrist wrapped. He said he would be fitted for a hard cast today.

Despite the injury, Flanagan-Brown said he would be ready for Friday night’s game against Gordo.

It’s that determination and toughness that has won Flanagan-Brown his teammates’ admiration this year, Crum said.

“Germaine’s a team player and he’s stepped it up this year,” Crum said. “He stepped it up on offense and defense against Dallas County two weeks ago, and he made some hard tackles.

“The guys have a new respect for Germaine,” Crum added. “They see the toughness in him, especially this year.”

More of Flanagan-Brown’s toughness and ability have been demonstrated this year with the addition of becoming the Bears’ long snapper on punts.

“He’s been an outstanding deep snapper,” Crum said. “He hasn’t missed a snap yet, and we’ve had plenty of opportunities to punt.”