Sophomore defensive lineman Bobby Brown III is a self-proclaimed “momma’s boy.”
At 6-foot-4 and 325 pounds, Brown isn’t a little boy anymore, but he said his close relationship with his mom, and her tough love, has allowed him to be successful at Texas A&M.
“My mom is probably my biggest critic and my biggest supporter,” Brown said. “She always shoots me straight; she never sugarcoats anything. If I could let y’all hear a conversation, y’all would probably think she didn’t love me.”
Brown’s mom, Erica Kelly, is a former professional basketball player and now coaches girls’ basketball. He said her tough love doesn’t stop with him though, and her players probably feel some of it as well. “I feel bad for those girls,” Brown said.
With Kelly taking a hands-on role in his development as an athlete, Brown said she prepared him for criticism from coaches.
“The reason coaches, when they scream at me, don’t get to me is because my momma, my junior year, was training me,” Brown said. “She was screaming in my face, spitting in my face, talking about, ‘You’re nothing.’ Anything a coach can say to me would never faze me because the woman I came from told me I was nothing.”
Brown’s close relationship with his mother played a large role in his decision to attend A&M. Toward the end of his recruiting period, the Arlington native was torn between coming to College Station or heading east to Tuscaloosa to play for Alabama.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said home state advantage ultimately helped the Aggies steal Brown away from the Crimson Tide.
“He liked A&M the whole time he had been in recruiting,” Fisher said. “He loves his momma, and he’s close with his momma, and I think those are all factors at play. But I think he saw the future that we’re trying to build here and what we’re trying to do, and keeping these guys in the state of Texas and making them realize they don’t have to leave here to get what they want.”
Brown said his decision to spend his collegiate career in Aggieland came down to one thing: trust.
“I just had a better relationship with [defensive ends] coach [Terry] Price at the time,” Brown said. “It was more relationship things with me. I don’t really trust people that easy, and I had a really good trust and love with Coach Price. That was really just the difference between those two.”
Not only is Brown a staple on the defensive side of the ball, but he has also taken on a new role on offense at fullback in what he calls the “Jumbo Jimbo Package.” Fisher said he chose Brown for the position because of his agility.
“Bobby is a huge man who has a very explosive body and can bend and create movement, so his extra oomph can get you that push,” Fisher said. “What you’re trying to do is create a seam [for the running backs]. He’s a guy that can help us move piles because he’s so physical and so athletic and has so much power.”
The announcement of the position change was a shock, Brown said, as he found out about his new role out of the blue during a fall camp practice.
“One day, Coach Fisher was spazzing, calling me and Madubuike to the other side of the field,” Brown said. “I thought we were about to run or something.”
Brown isn’t the only player who is enjoying his new role.
“I love [running behind Brown],” sophomore running back Jacob Kibodi said. “Bobby gets in there and does a great job. He moves bodies, and that’s what we need him [to do].”
Fisher said Brown’s decision to come to A&M is bigger than football.
“For him to be able to stay here locally and get the whole A&M experience, from the education to the Aggie Ring and what comes after, the ball we’re building and the program we’re building during his four years here, he’s going to have a lot of success,” Fisher said.