Over the last year, one of the hardest workers that we have seen here in the state is LaMarcus Brand out of Mountain View. He worked his tail off during the offseason, especially on his top-end speed, and that hard work is paying dividends here in 2020 with more explosive plays.
“After last season, I took one day off and got back in the lab to work on all my tools,” Brand said. “What I’ve improved on the most is my confidence and being able to read the defense. I have to give credit to Coach Taylor, my WR coach, for teaching me how to read the defense, particularly through watching film.”
Scouting Brand back at the start of the year, and his ball skills coupled with his body control grabbed our attention right off the bat. Those great hands were never showcased better than last Friday where the 2021 receiver went up for a grab that will go down as one of the best of the season here in the state of Georgia.
Going against top 10 ranked Collins Hill, Brand knew it would be a tough task going against their talented defensive backs. Mountain View was lined up at the 20-yard line, knocking on the door for a score. Brand was on the left sideline in single coverage. Right at the snap, Brand was met with tough press coverage, but he did a nice subtle double move that left the cornerback in the background. Senior QB Nathan Payne saw the Collins Hill defender trailing behind, and tossed up a jump ball. Now that the football was midflight, Brand did what he does best; go up and get the football. Even with the defender face guarding him and tackling him midair, Brand hauled in the pass – even landing on his feet to complete the score.
The balance and body control to go along with his impeccable timing were exhilarating to watch, and just a short few days later Brand was in the state’s top 10 plays of the week. He ultimately placed at the #2 spot, and the catch certainly goes down as one of our favorites of this season.
As we mentioned earlier, Brand was a workaholic during the offseason – despite having to deal with the pandemic.
“This year’s offseason was definitely different with Covid-19. It was difficult not being around my teammates and working out together.” Brand continued, “I took the opportunity to put in a lot of work while others stayed home and used Covid-19 as an excuse. I worked hard every day by going to training in the morning and hitting the field later in the afternoon.”
That commitment to the process shows in this year’s film but also in the box score where Brand has more than double last year’s production with 47 receptions, 538 yards, and 4 touchdowns. You can tell Brand has a passion for the game, much like the player he models his game after.
“Someone I model my game after is Julio Jones. He truly lays it all out on the line when it comes to running a route, catching a ball, and blocking. He plays hard on all aspects of the game and I do my best to model that.”
Brand has a lot of intangibles that he brings to a football team. Sure, he’s 6’1″, and has a background in track, but it’s his competitive spirit to work hard that makes him an intriguing wide receiver recruit. The senior has been named Player of the Week three times this season so far.
Up to this point in the article, we have talked a good bit about what we like about Brand, so we asked the senior what his advantages are over the competition.
“One thing that separates me from other wide receivers would have to be my work ethic and route running. I feel that I can beat any type of coverage and also find ways to get myself open,” he said.
Brand keeps an optimistic approach to everything he encounters, and the senior believes that his Mountain View team can finish the year strong.
“My goal for the remainder of the season is to win out the rest of the regular season’s games, make it to the playoffs, then states, and win!”
On the recruiting front, Brand holds offers from Reinhardt, Jamestown, Benedictine College, Mayville State, and West Virginia Wesleyan. Several have come this fall, and we think more schools will pick up on his production and impressive ball skills soon enough.
“Right now the recruitment process is going well. My plan is to commit to the college that best fits my overall academic and football goals.”
Heading into this season, there was some indication that Brand would play some CB this year, but we have always liked his potential at slot receiver. Brand’s route running is fundamentally sound and he shows the focus to make tough catches over the middle of the field regardless of what the defender is doing. The production increase has certainly caught our attention and if you are a college coach reading this, do yourself a favor and watch his highlight reel above.
A lot can certainly happen as the recruiting cycle winds down here, so be sure to check back to @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to see the latest on Brand and his recruitment to go along with the rest of the athletes across the Peach State.