Wagener-Salley's Brown opts for Presbyterian

Bill Bengtson, Aiken Standard, S.C.
·3 min read

Mar. 2—WAGENER — Nigel Brown is on track to become closely acquainted with Newberry County over the next few years, and to travel from coast to coast during football season.

He put pen to paper Tuesday morning at Wagener-Salley High School to confirm his plans to play for Presbyterian College, in Clinton, joining the Blue Hose as the football program gets on board with the Pioneer Football League (PFL), to face teams from as far afield as Iowa, Indiana and California.

"He's been a starter for all four years of high school," said Willie Fox, the War Eagles' head coach, recalling that Brown began as an offensive lineman and remained in that post, but also branched out to start for "at least three years" as a linebacker, in addition to serving on special teams. He is listed at 5-foot-10 and 225 pounds.

"You are going to be very, very hard to replace," said Fox, speaking to Brown at Tuesday's gathering in the school's library. The coach acknowledged that Brown rarely comes off the field during a game.

Accolades in the 2020 season for Brown included being named as Region 3-A's top offensive lineman and as an All-State player. Along with his service on offense, he racked up 72 tackles (including three sacks and 17 in all for a loss), one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

Brown, whose parents are Kim Ware-Brown and Eugene Brown, said Tommy Spangler, Presbyterian's head coach, has offered him the option of playing as either a linebacker or offensive lineman. "I am going to be playing inside linebacker," Brown said.

He is still looking to be in action at Wagener-Salley for several more weeks, as the starting catcher for the War Eagles' baseball team. Looking at the next few months, he said is looking to improve his speed, "like running a faster 40," and said his football assets include an aggressive style of play.

Football highlights in Wagener, he said, include facing Ridge Spring-Monetta for the Upper State championship in 2019 and facing Lamar, in his final prep game, in the 2020 playoffs.

He did not start in the first two games of his freshman year, but "worked and worked," to the point of attracting plenty of positive attention and becoming a starter.

Brown also addressed his mindset in facing life at Presbyterian: "I'm ready to be a part of that." He said he plans to study business management, with a goal of owning a business with his dad.

Presbyterian, under normal circumstances, would have its football games in the fall, but there was no 2020 football season season for the Blue Hose, as hundreds of colleges and universities cancelled their seasons due to COVID-19.

Presbyterian, which left the Big South Conference following the 2019 season, is to be back in football action March 13 at home versus the University of San Diego, starting a PFL spring season that will run through April 17. Plans are for another season starting in early September, with Brown on board.