After defensive tackle Joe Brown graduated from Catalina Foothills, he started three years at Ohio State, then went undrafted but caught on with the Seattle Seahawks and spent two seasons in the NFL.


During the next four weeks, the Star will count down the top 10 football players from each major Southern Arizona high school program:

School: Catalina Foothills

The best: Joe Brown

Achievements: Although Brown made an impact as a 6-foot-6-inch, 260-pound lineman at Catalina Foothills and earned first-team All-Southern Arizona as an offensive lineman and second team All-Region as a defensive tackle in 1995, his real impact came after his prep career. Despite fighting off injuries, Brown started at Ohio State University for three years and eventually spent two seasons in the NFL after going undrafted. Brown's selflessness and toughness really showed, though, in his decision to abandon his football career in 2003 to fight in the Iraq war.

From the archives: "It was really commendable that he played through that kind of pain, but he stuck with it. That's the kind of kid he is." - Ohio State defensive line coach Jim Heacock, about Brown playing through repeated shoulder dislocations, in the Sept. 8, 2000, Arizona Daily Star.

The big number: 1. Brown is the only former Falcon to be a part of an NFL roster during the regular season. Although the defensive tackle never recorded a tackle during his career as a Seattle Seahawk, he is one of only 33 Tucson natives to even make it to the highest level of pro football.

Follow online: View a slideshow of the top 10 football players in Catalina Foothills history at azstar high-school-and-prep/

Coming up: The top 10 players from Cholla revealed Friday.