Alante Brown said it on his first day at Simeon: “One day, I want to play for Michigan State.”
It had been his dream since he was a little kid. Brown’s dad is from East Lansing.
Simeon coach Dante Culbreath said Brown was a raw young quarterback with a lot to learn when he started high school.
“His quarterback ability wasn’t where it needed to be,” Culbreath said. “I grabbed him, took him under my wing and we focused on that part of it. As far as leadership, he was a leader when he got here.”
Brown earned the starting quarterback position as a sophomore. He led the team to a 7-6 record. By the time he was a junior, Brown said he was more confident as the play caller. The Wolverines finished the season 8-5.
This year there’s no question about Brown’s confidence or ability. The Wolverines are off to a 3-0 start.
“Sophomore year I came in here a little afraid,” Brown said. “After my first year, I did alright. The second year I did a little better. This year, I just progressed and progressed. I’m really hard on myself. I just want to prove that I’m one of the best players in the state and in the country.”
Simeon has a new turf football field. The team used to practice in the park next to the school.
For months, during lunch period, the team watched the new field being built. It was finished just a week before Simeon’s first game. The Wolverines had a unique way of breaking it in.
“We all just came out here and laid on the field,” Culbreath said. “It’s carpet. We just feel so blessed and thankful to even have the opportunity to have a field.”
Brown committed to Miami of Ohio in April. He decommitted in June. And then the big phone call came.
Culbreath received a call from Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio on June 26. Brown’s dream was about to become a reality.
“When [Dantonio] called me and let me know they were going to offer him, I was emotional,” Culbreath said. “I knew this was what he wanted.”
Shortly after that call, Culbreath received a call from Brown.
“It was more of a whimper than him really telling me that Michigan State had offered,” Culbreath said. “He was crying. It was emotional for him, but I had already talked to Dantonio so I knew exactly what he was trying to say.”
Brown committed to Michigan State two days later.
Brown led Simeon to a 21-8 win against Phillips on Saturday.
“He has a group of guys behind him that are fighting for him,” Culbreath said. “We just believe. They’re buying into everything we’re teaching them here at Simeon so it’s a good feeling around here right now.”
Sun-Times high school football stories:
- WATCH: Our “Game Week” analysis of Simeon vs Phillips
- Week 4: Game of the Week preview
- The complete Week 4 game schedule
- Week 3: Video highlights; photo gallery and scores all in one place
- Mount Carmel pulls out a win over Loyola in last three seconds of the game
- Supremely accurate Payton Thorne leads Naperville Central past Naperville North
- How the Super 25 fared in Week 3
Watch Sun-Times Game Week every Monday at 4:30 p.m.
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