Thursday, September 6, 2007

Brian Price Feature (FSN Airdate: Feb. 2007)

This feature ran during FSN's National Signing Day Special in February. As of this publishing, Brian Price has yet to be cleared by the NCAA to play this season.

At 6'1" and 285lbs and the ability to bench press 400lbs, Brian Price may seem to be indestructible. And on the high school football field, he has been. In fact, it's Price who's been doling out the destruction at Crenshaw High School the last few seasons.

"He made my linebacking career very easy," said Crenshaw Linebacker Elijah-blu Smith. "I got two All-City honors through him just opening holes ready for me to just go make plays. And people don't see that sometimes. [With] him causing so much attention makes it easier for us."

But that rugged exterior has been shaped and hardened the last nine years by some internal destruction--as in a broken heart. Not once, but twice.

In 1998, Brian's brother, Eddie, was shot and killed while coming to the aid of a young lady being harassed by a group of would-be killers.

And then in 2003, Brian's other brother, Damon, was murdered in cold blood by a personal friend.

Each tragedy alone was devastating beyond belief. But two equally traumatic events within just 5-years of one another would without question leave an unnerving effect on even the most mature of teenagers.

"I thought I was going to be next. You know, being killed," said Price. "And I was scared to walk around at night and stuff. [I] never went outside."

"With him, he felt he was going to be the next person in the family, said Brian's father, Frank Price. "On his highlight tape, he has this song, "Sole Survivor." He looks at himself as the sole survivor in the family."

To help him deal with the mourning process, Brian turned to two outlets--football and drawing. Both of them gave him a means of releasing his emotions. One through physicality. The other through creativity.

"When I was young, my hand would just take over and draw things that I would think in my head," said Price. "Sometimes it would help me ease the pain, but sometimes it wouldn't. I would just draw because I loved to do it, and as a remembrance of my brothers."

"That is his way of coping," said Brian's mother Jeanetta Price. "It's amazing how we have to go through our own little ways of.. you can't tell me how to get through, or overcome, you have to find it from within. And drawing is one of his tactics."

That love for creativity made Brian's choice for a major in college an easy one. He wants to be an architect.

But his other tactic for dealing with the loss of his brothers is the reason he will attend college absolutely free. Price played his way into one of the most sought after recruits in Southern California. He's a defensive tackle in the mold of a Warren Sapp.

Both UCLA and USC--along with other PAC-10 schools--battled to sign him. But when it came time to make a decision, it was the Bruins who made the lasting impression. "Right after they offered me, they continued to recruit me," said Price. "I went up there and they invited me to games. I enjoyed the time I spent up there.

"I quickly got a relationship with Coach [DeWayne] Walker, [Karl] Dorrell and Todd Howard. Those are the guys I committed to. I committed because of those guys."

"UCLA is going to get one hell of a ballplayer, said Frank Price. "He is going to be committed. He is going to do what ever the coaches ask him to do. And if he commits to the coaches the way they commit to him, UCLA is going to win a national championship. He will not be denied."

And the Bruins will have Price and his fallen brothers to thank for that.

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