Central (Phenix City, Ala.) defensive back John Broussard can remember the last time he was nervous on the football field. It was four years ago, when he started for the Red Devils.
“As a freshman, I was a little nervous coming out,” Broussard said. “That same year, I made a big play when we were playing Carver Montgomery’s Jeremy Johnson (who was named Tuesday as the starting quarterback at Auburn) and I starting thinking, I can do this.”
Broussard received his jersey Tuesday for the Under Armour All-America Game Jan. 2 in Orlando, as the Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance stopped at Central. Unlike many elite prospects, Broussard is familiar with real work because he helps with his family’s business, Clean Pro Janitorial.
“It teaches me discipline because you have to be there on time and do what I have to do,” Broussard said. “You have to work for everything.”
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Some of the company’s accounts, such as a local bowling alley in Columbus, require that the cleaning be done after regular work hours.
“Sometimes John works until 2 or 3 a.m. with his father if they have a big job or someone is out sick,” Central coach Jamey Dubose said. “His dad is a hard-working man and he comes from a great family. They teach all the ethics of hard work and he always seems to get to practice no matter how hard he works.”
Broussard has tried to emulate the confidence shown by his favorite NFL player, Arizona Cardinals defensive back Patrick Peterson.
“I loved watching him,” Broussard said. “He has the physicality and confidence. He’s a shutdown guy. You have be confidence to be able to do it as a defensive back.”
Broussard has committed to Auburn and has kept a close eye on the War Eagles, who were No. 7 in the preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll, but have dropped out after starting 3-2.
“I think the past two games, they’ve played better,” Broussard said. “They have to keep on pushing.”
Broussard, who is 6-foot and 175 pounds, was a first-team 7A All-State selection last season as a junior. He’s quick enough to cover smaller receivers, yet with a decent wing span, has enough length to cover taller receivers.
“He does a good job of covering both types of receivers,” Dubose said. “His height and reach gives him the ability to stay with bigger players and he is a physical guy. He has the speed to recover when he does get beat. We leave our guys on an island out there and he does play well on the perimeter. I think the one thing he needs to work on is being able to play bump and run coverage in college. That’s going to come with added strength.”