Colby Brown readily admits he had some concerns about making the transition from freshman to varsity football.
"I wasn't sure how I'd do; size up with everybody," the Carson sophomore said prior to Thursday's practice in preparation for tonight's home game (7 p.m.) against Bishop Manogue. "I wasn't sure I'd play this much. Coach Roman told me I had a good chance, and that he wanted to evaluate me in the off-season.
"At the South Tahoe camp I became a lot more confident; got used to the speed of the game at the varsity level."
Carson coach Blair Roman agreed with Brown's self assessment.
"He had some explosive runs," Roman said. "He showed he was physical enough and could handle the mental part of the game. That (camp) was a huge step for him.
"He was pretty nervous. I saw some real good things as freshman. He had some good athletic ability. There was no doubt he was going to be ready."
One of the reasons for his success is because of his mental and physical toughness, and a lot of that can be credited to his wrestling.
"Wrestling is the most physically demanding sport there is," Brown said. "It helped me mentally. There is nobody out there on the mat with you. It helps me win personal battles.
"It (mental toughness) instills you to go hard every play. In wrestling the score doesn't mean anything. You can be ahead the whole match and get pinned in the final seconds."
Roman said he could tell that Brown had mental toughness last winter during wrestling season.
And, save for an off game against Reno (7 carries, 6 yards), Brown has been very productive. Through seven games, he's carried 93 times for 548 yards (5.89 average) and five touchdowns. He also has six catches for 70 yards. His best game was a 28-carry, 202-yard, three-TD effort at North Valleys, a coming out game if you well.
Brown said it does no good to look back at what was one of the top performances in northern Nevada this year. In fact, he feels he should be producing more.
"I don't think I've done that well," Brown said. "After the one game (North Valleys) I haven't gone over 100 yards. I just try to go hard and get as many yards as I can.
"I'm hard on myself. I expect a lot on myself, I feel I'm capable of doing better. I just want to do whatever I can to help the team win. That's the most important thing."
It is to be sure, but Roman likes to spread the ball around.
"Rarely do you see a back carry it 30 times a game in our offense," Roman said. "We like to spread it around and make defenses defend everybody.
"He's made positive plays in big situations. In the Damonte game he didn't have big-time stats (12 carries, 69 yards), but he made key runs that kept the chains moving. And, he caught screen passes that was a big key in the game."
In fact, Brown scored Carson's first TD that night on a 21-yard run. Late in the first half, he had a 20-yard reception for a first down at the Damonte 23. Carson would go on and miss a field goal. On Carson's second scoring drive, Brown had first-down runs of 11 and 23 yards, respectively, and he added a 27-yard reception that led to a touchdown.
Brown said he wants to become a better blocker, and Roman would like to see him get better as a receiver. It's this simple, the fullback position is in good hands for the rest of this season and the next two after that.
"I think he's only going to get better," Roman said. "He's going to be an outstanding back. Colby is very good about wanting to be better player. You have to be willing to put in the work to develop, and he's got great work ethic."