Marlon Brown doesn't make excuses for why his freshman season didn't work out exactly as planned.
A four-star performer when he signed out of Harding Academy in Memphis, Tenn., Brown came to Athens with all sorts of expectations, but saw limited action and just caught two passes for 15 yards - both against Tennessee.
Brown admits he was frustrated.
After totaling 1,785 yards with 19 touchdowns his senior season at Harding, Brown thought he'd be able to make a quick adjustment to college play. He soon found out that wasn't the case.
Going up against the talent one sees every week in the SEC was much different than what he had grown accustomed to in the private school league that Harding calls home.
"It was really the fundamental stuff, running the routes, that was what it was, really," said Brown, who added that the pressure to succeed is something he lives with every day.
"I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself," he said. "I came in here as a highly recruited guy, didn't play that much and every time I'd watch TV, I'd see younger guys like myself out there making plays. It was frustrating to see, but after a while I just forgot about that and started grinding."
Brown hasn't stopped.
With spring practice not set to begin until March 4, Brown, along with the rest of Georgia's receivers, has been taking part in off-season throwing sessions with Aaron Murray, Logan Gray and Zach Mettenberger.
Although it's early, Brown believes he's taken the necessary steps to be a big part of Georgia's receiving corps this fall.
"I've come a long way from when I first got here," he said. "On a scale of 1-10, when I first got here I was probably a 1½. Now, I'm at a 7 or an 8. I'm getting there."
According to Brown, it's all about being comfortable.
"Right now I am," he said. "There's no second-guessing when I run a route or make a cut. I'm not out there worrying if I do it right or wrong. I just got out there and do it."
He's also anxious to prove any doubters wrong.
"I'm hungry, real hungry," said Brown, who now carries 218 pounds on his 6-5 frame. "When I'm on the weight room lifting weights, I'm in there thinking about next year. I'm playing everything out in my mind. I'm learning the different routes; what the coverage is. Ask me a question, I'm right there."
That wasn't always the case.
From time to time, Brown admitted he needed a shoulder or two to lean on.
"I'd talk to A.J. (Green) and Mike (Moore) a lot," he said. "I'd call or text Mike anytime, every day. Mike's my man. I'd call him and say 'Hey man, I need a boost or something like that.' He'd always say, don't worry, you're all right. It's all good."
Brown said he no longer has those same concerns.
"Not at all, man," he said. "It's a different year and I'm ready to play. There still things I'm working on, that I know I can do better. I will."
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