The origin of the name Equanimeous St. Brown came long before the 6-foot-5, 190-pound wideout was born. His father, John Brown, had a college friend at Cal State Fullerton who was writing a book featuring a character named Equanimeous. Brown inquired about the name, and his friend said it was inspired by the word equanimity, which, according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, means “calm emotions when dealing with problems or pressure.” Brown liked the name so much that he vowed to bestow it on his first son.
Brown followed through, and the result is one of the strongest candidates in the short yet illustrious history of the SI.com recruiting All-Name Team. St. Brown is a near lock given his unique first name alone, but his full name is even more distinct: Equanimeous Tristan Imhotep J. St. Brown. He has two brothers -- one a prospect in the class of 2017 who already has two Division I scholarship offers -- who are equals on the nomenclature hierarchy. There is Osiris Adrian Amen-Ra J. St. Brown, 16, and Amon-Ra Julian Heru J. St. Brown, 14.
“It makes me stand out, I think,” Equanimeous said of his name. “A lot of people know me for my name. So, I like it.”
For all the attention Equanimeous draws because of his name, however, he is becoming increasingly well known for his prowess as a wide receiver. The 20th-ranked receiver in the class of 2015, according to Rivals.com, St. Brown has emerged as one of the most coveted prospects on the West Coast and counts scholarship offers from LSU, Notre Dame, USC and Stanford, among others. He is long and sinewy, explosive and agile, with a blend of size and speed that presents matchup problems for big and small defensive backs.
“He gets in and out of his routes really well, so smaller cornerbacks have a very difficult time with him, because he can just catch higher passes, he’s athletic and can jump,” said Adam Gorney, a West recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. “And bigger corners have a tough time with him because he runs by them. So, he has kind of that double distinction of being a guy who has the height but also the fluidity and athleticism to separate himself from corners.”
Still, none of that explains why St. Brown is in the running for a different title: the class of 2015’s most interesting prospect. Fans will come to learn there is more to St. Brown than an obscure name and a lofty recruiting stature; he’s a wideout perhaps best suited for a Dos Equis commercial. For starters, he is fluent in three languages: German, French and English. His mother, Miriam, was born in Germany and makes Equanimeous and his two brothers read German aloud for 10 minutes on the way to school every morning. “German magazines with political articles in it or scientific articles,” Miriam said. “With words they’ve probably never heard.”
St. Brown also visits Germany every year, lived in Paris with his mom and brothers for six months as a fifth-grader and attended a French school in Orange County for seven years. While St. Brown took the standard SAT in English, he scored well on both the French and German SAT subject tests and took the French Advanced Placement exam in May, even though his school doesn’t offer an AP French class. (St. Brown’s mom said he might also take the German AP exam.)
St. Brown’s trilingual proficiency can be explained, in part, by his father’s career. Brown was a world-class bodybuilder whose early weight-training tales could be weaved into the Rocky IV training montage and who, at his peak, looked cut straight out of a Marvel comic. The two-time Mr. Universe and three-time Mr. World met Miriam while taking part in a competition in Germany. Brown originally played football, but he decided to pursue bodybuilding because it afforded him total control, with zero reliance on teammates.
Brown instructed Equanimeous to begin lifting weights when he was 5 years old, and they currently train together four times a week, on average. Equanimeous says he can bench press 300 pounds and developed an eight pack without ever focusing on abdominal exercises. He also has extremely strong hands, thanks largely to the hundreds of balls he catches each week from the JUGS machine stationed inside his garage.
“I’ve watched him catch countless passes and maybe I’ve only seen him drop the ball one or two times,” said A.J. Gass, St. Brown’s coach at Servite (Calif.) High. “His catch radius and his ability to come down with any ball that’s actually near him is probably one of the things that really sticks out.”
St. Brown hauled in 42 passes for 725 yards as a junior and has seen his profile rise as he has excelled in various camps, such as the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in June. He has taken several unofficial visits, including to Notre Dame and USC, and plans to take officials during the fall. St. Brown will likely wait until after his senior season to announce his college decision. He has yet to formulate a list of schools and is open to a number of different options, though his mother has made it clear that she wants him to end up at Stanford.
Wherever St. Brown lands, his name will be the subject of endless fascination. If his high school career is any indication, though, it shouldn't take long for him to shift that focus, both on and off the field.