Take I-95 north from Miami for about 30 minutes and you’ll come across a sign for Hollywood, Florida. Located in Broward County, the heart of South Florida, Hollywood is a football town in the heart of football country. Over the years some of the league’s best have come from this area. Lamar Jackson, T.Y. Hilton, and Antonio Brown are just a couple of the players that have made their way to the top. Now there is a new rising star looking to make a name for himself, and prove he is the next great deep threat. It’s time for Marquise Brown to show what he is capable of.
When it comes to football in South Florida, playing is less an option, and more an expectation. Brown began playing when he was 6 and quickly realized what football meant to his neighborhood.
“You’re not just playing for yourself, you’re also playing for your family and the community that you come from. As you grow older and move through college and the pros, you still have a bond with guys from the same area as you. Everyone is competing and wants to be the best, but you also like to see other guys from your area be successful.”
When Brown first began playing football, he was primarily a running back. Then when he turned 11 his coaches switched him to slot receiver. That was when Brown realized he had one undeniable attribute that no one else had – He was fast as hell.
“I would score on about 90% of the jet sweeps they called, and I realized I was faster than anyone who was trying to tackle me.”
The nickname “Jet” was born.
That speed would become Brown’s calling card as he made his way through high school, starring on the football field where he would run the 100-meter dash in 11.03. No one could catch him. If Brown got in the open field, it was easier if the defense simply started walking toward the sideline rather than try and run him down.
Despite his world-class speed and productive high school career, Brown was not offered a single D-1 scholarship. He chose to attend the College of the Canyons, a junior college in California.
His coaches there had seen his speed on tape, but witnessing it up close was an entirely different experience.
Ted Iacenda, his coach at College of the Canyons said, “He has a gear that maybe five or six human beings in the world have right now. There’s fast, there’s world-class fast. And that is Marquise Brown.”
Brown racked up 50 catches for 754 yards and 10 touchdowns that season. Suddenly, the kid from Hollywood, FL, who had minimal D-1 interest out of high school, was getting looks from powerhouse schools like USC, WVU, and Oklahoma.
Brown chose to head to Norman, Oklahoma, where, during his two years, he caught passes from Heisman winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. He became a highlight machine, regularly catching 40-, 50-, 60-yard touchdown passes. Every time he lined up, the entire defense was forced to shift to account for that speed. It was after a big game against Kansas State that announcer Gus Johnson learned Marquise was from Hollywood, Florida. Two games later, in a barn burner at Stillwater, Brown streaked down the sideline and hauled in a 77-yard touchdown as Johnson howled “Hollywooooooooood!!!”
Despite having more speed than anyone on the field, Brown has learned that the most important thing is learning when to use it. Getting open at the college and professional level is more about gaining leverage and manipulating defensive backs rather than running by them.
Brown said, “It’s not always about being the fastest, it’s also having your body under control and learning when to turn it on.”
“Sometimes I’ll only be running 70% down the field and let the DB stay with me and save the extra gear for when I need to create separation and go make a play.”
As Brown enters his second season, he’s looking to build on a productive rookie year where he had 46 catches for 584 yards and seven touchdowns. After offseason surgery to remove a screw from his foot, Brown will be fully healthy and ready to help Baltimore take the next step. With offseason team activities halted due to COVID-19, players around the league have stepped up individual workouts to get ready for the season.
Brown said, “I’m always working on getting stronger, route running, and speed. I’m making sure I’m 100% healthy when they let us back on the field and I’ve been watching a lot of film. Can’t divulge too many secrets right now, but I’m working hard to have a big second year.”
It’s no surprise that when Brown takes the field this season, he will be lacing up the adidas ADIZERO cleats. Since their initial release ten years ago, the ADIZERO has been associated with one thing: speed. Designed to keep you flying all over the field, it’s the lightest cleat in football, weighing in at 9.1 ounces.
The ADIZERO is built for more than just speed. It’s built for comfort too. The mesh upper with a TPU overlay allows air to flow through the cleat as you race up and down the field and keeps your feet cool and comfortable all game long.
A Sprintframe plate and Sprintstuds help support Brown when he makes those quick cuts on slant and dig routes by providing consistent, reliable traction and giving him a responsive feel, so he’s in control at all times.
You can find the ADIZERO at eastbay.com as well as plenty of other gear to help you train in the offseason and thrive on gameday.
UPDATES & CORRECTIONS
In this month’s catalog featuring Marquise “Hollywood” Brown there are two mistakes in the inside story. We stated that Marquise received the nickname “Hollywood” in his junior year. He actually received it his sophomore year at Oklahoma. The second error is an infographic showing off Marquise Brown’s speed in miles-per-hour. That should have been replaced with the one below.