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Florida State signee analysis: Defensive back Shyheim Brown scouting report

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A utility knife for the defense.

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At the end of November, the Seminoles picked up a commitment from 3-star DB/LB Shyheim Brown, from Columbia High School:

Modern offenses focus on attacking defenses in the middle of the field by spreading out. This requires defenses to match up with fast, hard-nosed athletes who can play in space. That last sentence describes Brown’s game, and that’s what piqued FSU’s interest.

There are some who think Brown may stay at cornerback, but I believe he could play the “bandit” position at FSU.

We are going to use some of Brown’s senior film to break down the strengths of his game. In 2019, Brown played mostly CB, but in 2020, he lined up at outside linebacker. Let’s get into it.

Playmaker

Look, I’d love to start with some fancy physical trait to define Brown’s game. The reality is he’s not the biggest or the fastest, but he’s a playmaker. Turn on his full highlight tape and you see kick return for TD, sacks, forced turnovers. It’s incredible how he’s always around a big play, and I believe that’s a mental trait which sometimes goes unnoticed in scouting. Some players have an innate love, passion, and determination driving them to be great. Brown flashes that throughout his tape, and it’s something FSU needs desperately. Look below and see for yourself:

Space Player

The Florida State defense has been historically bad in the middle of the field, particularly in underneath coverage. Having players who can defend in space should be FSU’s top priority. Brown’s a player who can defend open grass and play space in zone coverage. His background as a DB obviously helps him understand space better, but he also possesses the hips, footwork, and burst to drive on the ball. In addition, he shows the ability to read the quarterback and receiver while dropping. And he’s willing to deliver a blow when he gets to said receiver:

Fit and Fill

It isn’t a simple ask for secondary players to fit and fill in the box, but Brown seems to handle that well. In the clip below, you see him run blitzing, and he fits on a gap run, making a tackle for loss. Brown displays a comfort level playing closer to the line of scrimmage and amongst the bigger bodies. You see him read the backfield/puller action, slow down as he’s rushing to allow the pullers to clear, before bursting into the backfield to make the play. That’s just good football sense, which is hard to teach. Blitzing is part scheme and part instinctual, and Brown seemingly has the instincts:

Here is the full highlight film: