SHAWNEE — Signing the letter of intent is a feeling of relief for most college recruits. For Shawnee quarterback Brayle Brown, it was not only a relief, but a chance to put some closure on a stressful senior season.
Brown signed with Louisiana-Monroe on Wednesday as he works his way back from shoulder surgery.
Shawnee finished 3-7 in its first football season at the Class 6A level in more than a decade.
Brown sustained a shoulder injury halfway through the season and was not allowed to throw. He was able to play receiver and waited until after the season for surgery.
“It was real stressful,” Brown said. “But it made guys work harder, because it was a miserable season. I'm really happy to get this (signing) done.”
Despite the shoulder injury, Louisiana-Monroe coach Todd Berry never wavered with his scholarship offer.
“Coach Berry is a really good guy,” Brown said. “He said the offer would be out there if I wanted it. I just trusted him.”
Brown is getting close to throwing the football again.
“I get to throw a Nerf ball in three weeks,” Brown said with a laugh. “That doesn't really do much for me. It's kind of like a tease. In May, I'll be fully cleared.”
Of course, the surgery means a spring without baseball.
“He's been playing baseball since he could walk, basically,” said his father and football coach, Billy Brown. “Since he was 4 years old, he's been playing baseball every spring.”
But for now, Brayle is surviving without baseball, and he could run track this spring.
“I'm sure I'll miss baseball when the season gets here,” he said. “For now, I'm enjoying having a break.”