Diamond in the Rough: 2024 WR Kobe Brown, St. James High School (Vacherie, La.)

Wide receiver Kobe James of St. James High School is one the best-kept secrets out of the state of Louisiana.

James is one of the biggest playmakers on this very talented Wildcat team that is trying to win its fifth state title and its second in the last five seasons. James is also one of the state’s leading receivers as he has 66 catches for 1,192 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also rushed for a 69-yard touchdown run and returned a punt return for a touchdown.

“I love football because it’s just something that I was born into,” Brown said. “It’s just a way to express myself.”

Brown is a very hard worker who always wants to perfect his craft so he can be the best player on the field.

“The main factor that separates me from the pack is my work ethic as I’m always ready to compete and better myself in all aspects,” Brown said.

If you watch Brown play, the things that stand out to you are explosive yet precise route running and his elite speed as he has a recorded 40 time of 4.39. Yes, he is naturally fast but that doesn’t mean he does whatever he can to not only get faster but to maintain it as well.

“To maintain my speed, I do a lot of stretching, core and explosive workouts,” Brown said.

Brown’s ultimate goal this season is helping his team win its fifth overall state championship. The last time St. James won a state championship was in 2019 when the Wildcats defeated Jennings High School. Brown, who was on that team as an eighth grader, recalled the 2019 state championship game as his favorite moment of his career so far not only because his team won it but also got to celebrate it with his older brother who was a senior on the team.

Brown is one of the leaders of this very talented team and is currently 10-2 on the year and in the semifinals of the LHSAA Division III (Non-Select) Playoffs as the third seed. He said the biggest adjustment from his junior to senior year has been his change of how to present himself as a leader.

“The biggest change is the shift to being a more verbal leader instead of leading by example,” Brown said. Although I prefer to lead by example to set the tone for the team, my team needs to hear my voice when we go out to battle.”

Brown currently has offers from DI schools Grambling and Southern as well as NAIA schools Culver-Stockton College (Mo.) and Graceland University (Iowa).

Brown says the recruiting process so far has been fun despite its ups and downs. He told me that his favorite place to visit has been at ULM.

“The hospitality and connection to the coaches gives off a homelike feeling,” Brown said.

Off the field, Brown is a fantastic student as he has a 3.9 GPA and got a 24 on the ACT. When he gets into college, he plans on majoring in either business management or engineering.

Brown and St. James will travel up to the northern part of the state to take on the Panthers of Sterlington High School on Dec. 1 in the semifinals of the LHSAA Division III Non-Select Playoffs. If the Wildcats win, they will advance to the state championship game at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.