Exactly one month after college football's National Signing Day, Domonique Brown's time finally arrived.
The Harlem High School senior signed a letter of intent to attend Clark Atlanta University on a football scholarship next season. With his parents Chris and Debbie looking on, Brown made it official Wednesday at Harlem.
After a stellar prep career at quarterback, Brown was expected to have a pen in hand on Feb. 6 as part of National Signing Day. Georgia Southern University was interested, but the Eagles eventually backed out.
"Some things just didn't fall into place like I wish they would've, so I just took my time and this opportunity came about," he said. "Some people think it (being overlooked by GSU) was a letdown, but that just motivates me to play harder."
Harlem head coach Jimmie Lewis has no doubt that Brown will make his mark at Clark.
"Domonique is a special person you don't get every year," Lewis said. "He, along with the other seniors, turned this program around and got people believing they could win. I've got full confidence he'll step right in at college and take that program to the top, too."
Clark Atlanta, a Division II program which competes in the SIAC, has stuggled the past few seasons, but the Panthers plan to revamp their system under new head coach Tracy Ham. The former quarterback and assistant coach at Georgia Southern will install the triple-option offense this fall.
The triple-option is one reason Brown says he will be comfortable at the next level. Harlem has been using that offensive system since Brown became a starter four years ago.
"I've been told I have a good chance to come in and be the starting quarterback next year as a true freshman," he said.
Even with new challenges ahead, including working toward a degree in chemical engineering, Brown will always reflect on his prep football career. When he suited up as a Harlem freshman, the Dogs were lovable losers.
But after trips to the state playoffs the last two years, Brown can savor his role in helping put Harlem football in the spotlight.
"Being part of that is really special," Brown said. "Many years from now, it may not be written down, but you'll know in your heart that you were part of a team that started a new tradition at Harlem High School."
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