Brown leans on family ties in position change

Andrew Little | Editor-in-Chief

Photo by Lily Haller
The Brown family including Collin (second to the left) and Quinn (#12) celebrate Larson (#5) on his Senior Night in 2022.

When quarterback Quinn Brown’s name is announced on Friday nights, Mason fans may be experiencing déjà vu.

For the fifth time in six years, one of the Brown brothers is the signal caller for the Comets. Quinn spent the past three years playing tight end for the Mason football team, watching his older brothers Collin (2018-19) and Larson (2021-22) start at quarterback for the Comets. The youngest Brown, who fittingly has the initials “QB”, is the third in the line of the Brown quarterback dynasty.

Quinn Brown entered the summer planning to play his senior year at tight end. He was thrust into a quick position change to quarterback in August after the team’s presumptive starter moved schools. Brown had under three weeks to learn a brand new position. He had watched his brothers play quarterback his entire life, but had never played under center himself. Brown leaned on his brother Larson to learn the intricacies of the position and spent hours after practice improving his form.

“[Larson and I] went to the field together and worked on the little things like footwork,” Brown said. “That definitely helped me a lot. Every single day I got better and better.”

Collin and Larson were both two-time second-team All-Greater Miami Conference quarterbacks, largely due to their prolific passing numbers. Collin threw for 2710 yards and 21 touchdowns during his Mason career, and spent two seasons as the starting quarterback at Wittenberg University after high school. Larson threw for 2638 yards and 26 touchdowns as a Comet, and is currently a freshman playing football at Marietta College. 

Quinn is more of a dual-threat quarterback than his brothers were, largely because of his experience playing tight end. In his first career game at quarterback against Gahanna Lincoln, Brown ran the ball 13 times for 52 yards. Through five games as a starter, Brown has thrown for 505 yards and five touchdowns.

Photo by Lily Haller

Quinn Brown attempts a pass in his first
game back from injury against Colerain.

“I differ from them a little bit because I’m more of a running QB and they are more of throwers but I think I still have a great ball like them,” Brown said. “We play a little differently.”

Quinn’s father Ryan also played the position in high school. Colin and Larson always shared a connection with their dad because they had all played the same position, something that Quinn felt he missed out on. Brown was excited to tell his dad about his position switch, as he became the fourth quarterback in the family.

“My dad loves QB and loves football, so having Larson and Colin play QB and then me not playing QB was a little bit of a downer,” Brown said. “When he heard the news I was playing QB he was very happy. He loves his son’s playing there because the ball is in your hands every play.”

Brown was named one of the team’s four captains early in the summer, before he made his position change. Brown said that his prior leadership role on the team made the transition to quarterback easier, as he knew his teammates already believed in him to lead the offense.

“There was pressure but I felt like people wanted me back there so it gave me confidence,” Brown said. “I knew I could do it as an athlete and I just had to have confidence in myself to do it.”

In week two, Brown suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder that caused him to miss four games. During that time, juniors Caden Ashurst and Ashton Sheafe stepped in at quarterback. 

As the quarterback and a team captain, Brown felt obligated to continue to lead the team off the field. Brown assisted Ashurst and Sheafe in their preparation during practice and helped energize the sideline on Friday nights. Brown said this involvement allowed him to stay engaged with the team as he worked to return to the field.

“When the huddle was coming to the sideline I would always go up there and talk to them. When the defense is out and on the field and the offense is on the sideline I would talk to everyone and help Caden and Ashton to lead and be vocal.”

Brown’s injury, a torn labrum in his right throwing shoulder, initially made it unclear if he would be able to return to the field. The team considered moving him back to tight end after he healed, but Brown had a quick and successful recovery. He was cleared to resume throwing after four weeks, and made his return in week seven against Colerain, leading the Comets to a 45-19 victory.

After returning from the injury, Brown said he is even more grateful for the opportunity to play quarterback and extend both his personal and family legacy within the Mason football program.

“I was very down after getting injured,” Brown said. “I don’t know if the coaches even knew if I was gonna be able to come back to play quarterback. I don’t know if [my doctor] knew [right away] if I was gonna be able to, but rehab went well. Once I found out I was gonna be able to play quarterback again I was very hyped.”