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Speed, footwork and attention to detail. All those things going into making a good cornerback. Donatello Brown is getting all those things ready for the NFL these days, as the draft gets nearer and nearer. Brown learned one thing that many don’t learn growing up and that is mental toughness.
Brown was born in Homestead, Florida and immediately, he faced something that many do not face growing up. “I grew up with my grandmother. My mother passed away when I was four days old,” says Brown. “It’s ok. I have been living with this for a while now.” He talked about growing up not knowing his mother’s side of his family at all. Brown grew up with his father’s mother, as she cared for him like he was her own. While also dealing with the things life was throwing at him, he also learned about the game of football. “Where I am from, that’s all we know is football. Virtually every male in my family played football or some type of sport.” Brown fell in love with the game at an early age. “I started playing football at the age of six.”
As he got more involved in the game, the passion for it would go stronger. Not only would it grow stronger for him, but for what inspired him to go hard for what he wanted. “My family was my inspiration. Watching my grandmother struggle. That just made me want to go harder seeing her go through that struggle.” Brown would continue to play football while moving with his grandmother to the state of Georgia. “I moved to the state of Georgia at the age of twelve. And at the age of fifteen, I started going back to Florida for the summers to see my sisters and my nieces and nephews.”
Brown would go on to play college football at Valdosta State University but it was when he entered his senior year where he blossomed as a player. “Senior year is when I had the most fun I had in college. I just told myself that I was going to give my all and I did not care what anyone thought of me. I was just going to give my all.” In in giving his all is senior year, Brown was able to make first-team All-Gulf South Conference. Brown is proud but not satisfied feeling that his senior year performance is only the tip if the iceberg.
As far as what Brown feels he has to offer an NFL team, he has a few things that he feels he offers. “I am a competitor. Someone who is willing to do anything to help the team.” As far as his physical talents, Brown definitely offers some things as well, “I’m very physical. I trust myself and my speed as well. I am someone that is hungry and willing to learn.” Along with the attributes he has, he also has the ability to play different coverages and techniques. “For the past three years, I dealt with different defensive coordinators and been in all kinds of different kinds schemes. I feel like whatever defensive coordinators want, I can do it.” Football runs in his family as well. Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver John Brown is his nephew.
Brown is a big fan and compares himself to Josh Norman. “He is a long rangy guy that plays cornerback and he’s a competitive.” Because of his stellar play, Brown received an invite to the Tropical Bowl on January 15, 2017. It was evident that his love for the game mirrors his play. Because of what his grandmother had instilled in him and what he has endured, Brown believes in himself and his ability be great at the next level. “My goal is to be one of the best cornerbacks to play the game.”