As the top receiver in a triple-option offense for two years, Charleston Southern’s Kameron Brown proved to be among the best pass-catchers in the Big South Conference.
And perhaps the most frustrated.
He was the most talented receiver on a team that emphasized running the ball. As a result, his numbers were not mind-blowing, yet the 6-3, 220-pound Brown still earned second-team all-conference honors in 2016 and 2017. His average of 20 yards per catch ranked fifth in the NCAA in 2016.
Poised for a big season in 2018, Brown suffered an elbow injury and played in only three games. After the season, CSU made a coaching change, which meant Brown would be playing his final season under his third head coach.
The new coach, former Notre Dame assistant Autry Denson, brought his fast-paced, "air raid" offense to the Bucs, which means more passing and more opportunities for Brown.
“I am definitely excited about this season,” said Brown, a two-time all-state performer at Midland Valley High School near Aiken. “I am excited about more opportunity. It will be more passing, but receivers have to do more than just catch the ball. We still have to focus on the little things, but knowing the ball is going to be thrown more is exciting.”
Brown enters 2019 with 52 career receptions for 1,092 yards and eight touchdowns. His average of 19.8 yards per catch ranks among the best in school history.
In the new offense, Brown could have the opportunity to double his career receptions and yards.
“All that stuff will come in God’s will,” he said. “I just have to stay patient and keep working.”
Brown’s patience has been tested in the past. He signed with CSU when Jamey Chadwell, who ran an option offense, was head coach. Chadwell left for Coastal Carolina, and assistant coach Mark Tucker was promoted. Tucker stuck with the option offense.
Brown admits he thought about transferring several times over the last two years. The bigger picture, however, kept his feet on the ground at CSU.
“It was kind of in my mind, but at the time I was the number one receiver and was getting opportunities,” Brown said. “It’s not too far from home, and I really like it here. It’s not only about football. Every coach that I have had, they all have made sure that I am prepared for life after football. That has been a big thing for me.
“My grandma and my mom always told me to just stand still and pray about it. I prayed, and God kept me here. Now I am blessed with the opportunity to have coach Denson as a great mentor. The air raid came to me so I stood still. I am grateful for that.”
Denson knows his new offense will need some time to grow with a roster that was built for the triple option. He says having a player of Brown’s talents will be an asset.
“His experience, his size, his ability to run,” Denson said. “He’s a valuable player. He looks great in camp. He’s in great shape."
“This is football. It’s not new. Kam has been playing football for a long time. We just want to put him in a position to play his best football when we need him, which is every Saturday.”
Brown’s elbow injury led to Tommy John surgery last fall. He says he is about 70 percent back but has not been hindered in practice. He remains confident in his ability to be a leader on the field this fall — not on the sideline, where he spent last fall.
“Getting injured and having to watch my guys go and compete, that was definitely tough,” he said. “My job then was to cheer them on and do whatever I could to help them. Now I am healthy and I am grateful for another opportunity on the field.”