UK receiver Brown could have gone anywhere, he chose the Cats

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, August 18, 2022

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He could have gone to Alabama or a lot of other schools, but Nashville freshman receiver Barion Brown wanted to be at Kentucky.

“I love it all here. It is like a dream come true but it is just the start of the dream. I am still working, grinding and wishing for the best,” said Brown, a top 10 receiver nationally in the 2022 recruiting class.

He played quarterback, running back, receiver and defensive back and kick returner in high school and was also the state 100- and 200-meter dash champion.

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Brown is one of the newcomers being counted on to add juice to the Kentucky offense and give quarterback Will Levis a needed big-play receiving threat to help offset the loss of Wan’Dale Robinson.

“Honestly I have always had the hype but I never let it get to me. I always forget the hype and keep working to get better. You ain’t never the best. Somebody is always working and if they are working, you can do it, too,” Brown said.

Both coach Mark Stoops and Levis have talked a lot about Brown who says he’s done the same things in Lexington he did in high school/elementary school.

“I always try my best to stand out and do what I can do to help a team. Hopefully that is the message I send,” he said.

Kentucky sent the only message that he needed when he came for his official visit last season when the Cats beat Florida. His mother loved the win and Kroger Field atmosphere even better than him.

“The crowd was crazy. I loved the play calling and the coaches. Teammates already felt like teammates to me and they knew me by name. That was a plus that they did care for somebody that didn’t even go to their school yet,” he said. “My momma was just loving it, so I felt at home. And it ain’t too far from home, either.”

Stoops believes Brown has “all the tools” to be a big-time SEC receiver. The coach says Levis is just as excited.

“He can do some special things, has a lot of juice.  Need to get him plugged in, get the ball in his hands, because he’s a total play-maker,” Stoops said.

What does he do best?

“This is confidence, not cocky. I can do it all. Whatever you need me to do, I will do it. They are going to love it when I score. I am going to turn it up in the end zone. That is what they will be most excited about. I am going to celebrate it,” Brown said. “I am trying to come up with a dance move for every touchdown. I have been working. My first one might be the Griddy for sure but I want to have a different one for every touchdown.”

He believes his success on the track definitely impacts his playmaking ability on the football field.

“During the summer I texted  my coach thanking him for the track workouts because I was killing conditioning up here. That was a big plus and I just came off track, so I was in condition and it was not too hard,” he said.

And if you wonder about his speed, he has a quick answer.

“I didn’t lose a track meet in high school. I won state as freshman, we didn’t run sophomore year (because of COVID) and I won state junior and senior years. So I can run,” he said.

He can also lead. He did so both on his football and track teams.

“Where I am from, people take so many other different routes. Seeing me take a good route and people following me maybe that is keeping one person from being in jail or dead,” the freshman receiver said.

“Seeing me doing that brings a smile to my face. My parents see that and see I am grown up as a young man and have children following me, so that’s a good feeling to have and I want to continue to do things those kids back home can look up to and try to follow.”