Bennett Brown was the rare Highland Park player to play two positions until he became the rarer Scots player to play three positions.
The Scots have showcased the senior’s offensive versatility this season, bringing him off the bench as a wide receiver, running back, and even quarterback.
(ABOVE: Senior Bennett Brown, right, plays receiver, running back, and quarterback. Photo: Melissa Macatee)
Such shuffling is unusual considering HP’s consistent depth, but Brown has become the exception.
“I have to know the playbook for every position,” Brown said. “It’s been a new experience. I just want to contribute. I’m for anything that helps us win.”
Brown primarily played quarterback through his freshman season before shifting to receiver on the junior varsity squad as a sophomore. Last year, he debuted at the varsity level, catching 12 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns before a season-ending hamstring injury during a bi-district playoff win over Texarkana Texas High.
“I have to know the playbook for every position.” -Bennett Brown
His injury required several months of physical therapy, and cost him valuable repetitions during spring practice. Still, Brown was able to do limited work during summer conditioning sessions and with a private receiving coach and was back to full strength just before the season opener against Rockwall. He proved it by making an acrobatic catch in that game.
“I knew I needed to prepare for a beating so I wouldn’t get hurt again,” Brown said. “I took it upon myself to understand the playbook. I didn’t want my senior year to go to waste.”
Two weeks later, his coaches came to Brown as an option to provide running back depth prior to the District 6-5A Division I opener against Bryan Adams. He had one week to learn a position he had never played.
Brown recorded his first carry against the Cougars, gaining eight yards. The following week, he completed his first varsity pass during a victory over Woodrow Wilson.
HP head coach Randy Allen said Brown has the size, speed, and athletic ability to fit in multiple roles in a complex scheme — plus the humility to accept his role.
“He knows the offense. He’s a good runner and is strong enough to block. And he’s a good receiver,” Allen said. “You also have to be unselfish. When you play multiple positions, some games you’re going to play more than others.”