Jalen Myrick ’13 and DeAngelo Brown ’12 were stars of the 2011 winning GHSA Class A Football team. Dennis Knight from the Savannah Morning News wrote about both Raiders in a recent article. The following is an excerpt from the April 26, 2017 edition.
Myrick, who starred on Savannah Christian’s 2011 Class A state championship team, earned a scholarship to Minnesota and said playing in a big-city environment played a part in his decision to head north.
The cornerback/return man had an impressive career with the Gophers. Last year, he had 41 tackles with 3.5 tackles for losses, 11 pass break-ups and an interception. He had 1,052 yards in kickoff returns in his career, including one for a touchdown, as opponents had a hard time dealing with his speed. He had five career interceptions, returning two for scores and was selected for the East-West Shrine Game last season. Myrick was a two-time All-Big Ten honorable mention selection.
Myrick showed off his athleticism at the NFL Combine when he ran a 4.28 40-yard dash, the second-fastest time in the event behind Washington wide receiver John Ross, who set an all-time combine record with 4.22 seconds.
Myrick’s time was the best ever for a Big Ten player and the fastest among the defensive backs this year.
“I was looking to run a bit faster, but I knew I had a time like that in me since I was running with fresh legs,” Myrick said. “Playing at Minnesota prepared me to play in the NFL because I got a chance to play in one of the top conferences. This has been a dream of mine for a long time, and I started really thinking I had an actual shot around my sophomore year in high school.”
SCPS coach Donald Chumley realized Myrick was special when he first enrolled at Savannah Christian.
“I knew he was extremely gifted way back when,” Chumley said. “And when the college recruiters came around asking about him, I told them Jalen had just scratched the surface and he would improve at the next level. Nothing he does will surprise me. He has a special talent.”
Myrick has visited with NFL teams such as Dallas, Miami, Pittsburgh, New England and Minnesota and has been projected to go anywhere from the second to the fourth round of the draft.
“I’m excited about the draft and anxious to see where I’ll be going. The waiting is the hardest part,” Myrick said. “I’m hearing the second or the third round. I think that 4.28 holds a lot of weight.”
Brown had a stellar career as a defensive tackle at Louisville, earning All-ACC second-team honors as a senior. He also played in the East-West Shrine game and impressed pro scouts with a standout performance. The 6-foot-1, 317-pounder had 40 tackles, three sacks and a team-high 13 tackles for a loss as a senior.
Brown was disappointed that he wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine, but he quickly put it behind him. Known for his dedication to the weight room, Brown showed what he is capable of doing at the Cardinals’ Pro Day, putting up 225 on the bench press 36 times, which would have been the best mark at the combine. He is projected to be selected in the fifth or sixth rounds or the draft.
“Not being invited to the combine just made me want to fight even harder,” said Brown, who was the Savannah Morning News Defensive Player of the Year as a senior at SCPS. “I’m just hoping for the best (in the draft) and whatever happens, happens. I’ll leave the rest up to God and do the best I can. The team that picks me is going to get hard worker who can make plays, be effective and help the team.”
Chumley said Brown was underrated as a recruit out of high school because he wasn’t considered tall enough at 6-foot-1.
“One thing you will find out about DeAngelo is that he loves to be challenged and he plays with a chip on his shoulder with something to prove,” Chumley said. “Some college coaches didn’t go after him because he didn’t fit the prototype size they were looking for. But you can’t measure the heart and motor that DeAngelo has. He gets it and does all the little things a great player needs to do.”
Chumley told the story of Brown’s junior season, when SCPS faced Wesleyan in the state semifinals. Wesleyan had David Andrews, a UGA recruit who now plays for the Patriots at center. Chumley’s alma mater, Georgia, wasn’t going after Brown as hard as they should have been, Chumley said, and he used that to motivate Brown, who went head-to-head with Andrews.
“If you go back and look at the highlights of that game, DeAngelo totally dominated the line of scrimmage,” Chumley said.
Chumley, who was the last pick (No. 336) of the 1995 draft by the 49ers – earning the title of “Mr. Irrelevant” that year, will be keeping a close eye on this year’s draft.
“Jalen did such a great job at Minnesota and at the combine and DeAngelo has handled everything so well, he’s the kind of player that you need to judge by what he does on the field,” Chumley said. “I’ve been getting a lot of calls about both of them from NFL teams, asking about their background. And I have great things to say about their ability and their character. They have both seized the moment, and it’s great to see the opportunities they have created for themselves.”