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Brown among nation's best tacklers

The Illinois defense has had its fair share of struggles this year, but one player who is playing at the top of his game is senior linebacker Jonathan Brown. The Memphis, Tenn. native is Illinois' best NFL prospect right now, and he's playing like it.
CHAMPAIGN -- The Illinois defense has had its fair share of struggles this year, but one player who is playing at the top of his game is senior linebacker Jonathan Brown.  The Memphis, Tenn. native is Illinois' best NFL prospect right now, and he's playing like it.

"He's playing great.  I don't know where we would be without him," said defensive coordinator Tim Banks.  "He's a tremendous leader.  He's playing extremely fast.  He's just doing everything we've asked him to do.  He's playing at a great pace right now."

Brown leads the Big Ten and ranks sixth in the nation in tackles at 11.8 per game.  This year Brown has been asked to take on more of a leadership role - along with producing on the field - and bringing along the younger players is something Brown has embraced.

"It's really just playing together," Brown said.  "Something I've always stressed is playing as a unit so if and when we do make a mistake, we'll be behind each other to move on to the next play."
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