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Brown wants to bust loose in NFL

Before the season, Virginia Tech defensive end Nekos Brown talked about wanting to seize his first opportunity in a starting role. Now, after putting together a nice senior year, Brown said he was hoping to parlay his play into an NFL opportunity as an outside linebacker.

“At the next level, I know I can play outside linebacker,” Brown said. “I really can’t wait to stand up and show what I can do. I think I’m going to excel and show that I’m very athletic standing up.”

At 6 feet 2 and 248 pounds, Brown has a body built more in the mold of an outside linebacker than his position at Virginia Tech.

In fact, he said, Virginia recruited him to be an outside linebacker in its 3-4 defense. The Hokies’ 4-3 defense is designed differently, and he has played with his hand on the ground since coming to Blacksburg.

This is his first season as a starter. He had a lot to live up to, filling in for second-team all-ACC selection Orion Martin. There was a question of whether Brown could consistently perform as a starter.

Brown has answered those questions, making a name for himself after growing up the son of Washington music legend Chuck Brown, known as the Godfather of Go-Go. Brown has 51 tackles, including 4 ½ sacks, and 14 quarterback hurries.

Brown has not been double-teamed as much as his counterpart, Jason Worilds, one of the nation’s top pass-rushing ends. Worilds has not had an overwhelming season statistically as a result of the heightened attention; he has 42 tackles, including 4 ½ sacks and 8 ½ tackles for a loss, and 32 quarterback hurries.

Both ends should have opportunities Saturday to get after Virginia quarterback Jameel Sewell. In a loss to Texas Christian on Sept. 12, the Cavaliers allowed eight sacks for a loss of 42 yards. In a loss at Clemson last Saturday, they allowed seven sacks for a loss of 54 yards

“They’re probably a 60 percent passing team and that gives you a better opportunity to get sacks,” Brown said. “But we’re focused on stopping the run first. I don’t lick my chops on sacks until we get a team down and then I can actually focus on rushing the passer. Before that, it’s all discipline.”

After Saturday, Brown will only have the bowl game to audition for the NFL before professional workouts and perhaps the combine. But he is hoping he has shown enough to draw attention of evaluators at the next level.

"I’m just waiting for my opportunity,” Brown said.

By Mark Viera  |  November 25, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
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