Morton Ranch High School, Mavericks, Texas high school football, Early Signing Day, Brandon Brown, Dorian Maynard, Katy ISD

Morton Ranch’s Brown, Maynard sign on to continue careers

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 12/18/19

Morton Ranch fell a game short of the playoffs this season, but it wasn’t because of its defense. The Mavericks had one of the better defensive units in District 19-6A, allowing 22.2 points on 281.7 yards per game.

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Morton Ranch High School, Mavericks, Texas high school football, Early Signing Day, Brandon Brown, Dorian Maynard, Katy ISD

Morton Ranch’s Brown, Maynard sign on to continue careers

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Morton Ranch fell a game short of the playoffs this season, but it wasn’t because of its defense. The Mavericks had one of the better defensive units in District 19-6A, allowing 22.2 points on 281.7 yards per game.

It was no surprise, then, that two defensive playmakers signed to continue their careers in college on Wednesday, Dec. 18, for Early Signing Day. Defensive lineman Brandon Brown, the unanimous Defensive Player of the Year in the district, is headed back home to New Orleans to play at Tulane, while defensive back Dorian Maynard will play for the Air Force Academy.

Brown, a 6-foot-2, 290-pound disruptive force of power and speed, was recently named the Associated Press’ Class 6A all-state Defensive Player of the Year. Brown compiled 8.8 tackles per game, 17 tackles for a loss, nine sacks and five fumbles caused this season.

“He has such quickness and athleticism,” Morton Ranch coach Ron Counter said of Brown, who is clocked at five seconds in the 40-yard dash. “You don’t find many guys his size with that. He could’ve played fullback or tight end for us.”

Brown had 20 offers, but always knew he’d end up back home.

“Part of it was it being home and I have family out there, but a huge part was they recruited me hard,” he said. “They always wanted to talk to me. They made an effort to get to know me. They showed the most love. I feel I can really fit in.”

Brown grew up in a tough environment in New Orleans before his father Brandon moved him to Houston. Under the guidance of his stepmother Dion Brown, Brown’s focus and commitment developed as he matured.

“I didn’t expect to get to this point,” Brown said. “In my younger days, I don’t know that I can say I’d be in this position right now where I’m doing so well. But that time made me stronger. The way I was shaped by my parents, it made me tough. It made me a man.”

That growth was substantial on the field as much as off. Brown committed himself more to the weight room and strength and conditioning program for a senior year in which he felt he had a lot to prove.

To himself.

“Other people, they know how I play,” Brown said. “But I had to prove to myself I was ready to take that next step. I worked hard on my get-off, and that was amazing this year. Running to the ball, sideline to sideline … I had chase-down tackles every game. Coaches from different schools admired that from someone who’s 300 pounds.”

Counter said the effort was significant.

“Every play this year, he played hard. The whole game,” Counter said. “Not just a play or quarter. The whole game, every play. You want to keep challenging guys like him. His sophomore year, we felt like he didn’t play hard every play. We told him that and showed him the film. Now he’s playing with a motor. He’s been a great player and he’ll be tough to replace.”

His teammates, like Maynard, agreed.

“He is a team leader,” Maynard said. “He’s not vocal, but he leads by example. Everybody on the team follows in his footsteps. We all look up to him.”

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Maynard averaged 2.8 tackles per game and was a leader of his own right in the Mavericks’ defensive backfield.

On his recent official visit to the Air Force Academy earlier this month, Maynard, who plans to study business or engineering, knew his decision was set and verbally committed not long thereafter.

“It felt like home,” he said. “I felt like I could connect with the players. They’re all so focused, but they also love football. I felt like I could get the best of both worlds, education-wise and still be playing football with guys that I know have the same state of mind. We all want to go far in life.”

Maynard had a torn ACL cut his junior season short in 2018 and is currently dealing with a right arm injury. But Air Force coaches told him he will have an opportunity to play early if he earns it.

It’s undecided whether he will play safety or cornerback.

When he looks back at his time at Morton Ranch, Maynard said he will recall the inspiration of others during trying times for him.

“I remember being injured my junior year, and with all the support from my teammates and coaches, it really shaped me and encouraged me to work hard,” Maynard said. “It made me how I am in that I just want to continue working towards my goal.”

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