Leon Brown had an inkling that the Ravens were the right place for him to go as an undrafted free agent and reinforced that notion during a successful tryout at their rookie minicamp.
The undrafted rookie offensive lineman from Alabama is a Parkdale graduate who grew up in Riverdale.
"It's definitely an honor and a privilege being so close to home, so I embrace that," Brown said in a telephone interview. "It's good being able to see my family on our off days."
The 6-foot-5, 332-pound former junior college All-American also had an invite to try out for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but preferred the Ravens. Brown was upbeat about his opportunity with the Ravens after talking with the coaching staff.
"I chose the Ravens because I know they hav a strong tradition here having players come through here and leave out as Hall of Famers," Brown said. "I received positive and motivating feedback from the coaches during minicamp."
Brown's decision was influenced by two former teammates, linebacker Trey DePriest and safety Nick Perry, who also signed with the Ravens as undrafted free agents.
"It's just more comforting to me," Brown said. "Me knowing guys on the team, having played with them in college or coming from the same program, we can all look out for each other. So, it's more like home inside of home for me."
Brown played offensive tackle and guard for Alabama, but went undrafted after he didn't test well at his Pro Day workout, where he ran the 40-yard dash in 6.0 seconds and had a 20-inch vertical leap. He was an all-county selection in high school who chose the Crimson Tide over Oklahoma, Mississippi and Tennessee.
"I bring the love of the game, I bring intensity and I bring the desire to get better at something everyday," Brown said. "I carry a 'won't be denied' attitude everyday. My goals for my rookie year is making the 53-man roster and competing for playing time this season."