Buford, Texas communities rally around football player

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Well-wishes continue to pour in for a Buford High School football player who suffered a sudden medical emergency last week.

Assistant Principal Keith Johnson said Derrian Brown remains hospitalized in Atlanta but has made significant improvements.

"He's getting better every day," said Johnson. "Each and every day he's getting a whole lot better." 

Brown was a highly sought-after running back, committed to play football at the University of Texas next fall.  He was unable to make it to Signing Day celebrations, but his teammates made sure to include him, showing off the "Hook 'em, Horns," hand gesture at an event Wednesday.

"It's just that brotherhood that they've established over the years.  They care about each other, they love each other, they want to be a part and that signing, it means so much to Derrian.  So, without him it just wasn't complete," Johnson explained. 

A GoFundMe page for Brown and his family has raised nearly $60,000 to cover medical bills and other expenses.

Johnson said the outpouring of support for the Browns has been incredible.

"It's what Buford is.  We pride ourselves on family," said Johnson.  "I mean, no one in this community would be surprised at the amount of support that Derrian and his family have received."

Those close to Brown have kept very quiet about exactly what happened, but they said he faces a long road to recovery. Johnson believes, though, Brown will find his way back to football. 

"I'm extremely optimistic that Derrian – the fight that he has in him and as much as he loves football and his competitiveness – he'll be back on the football field at some point," said Johnson.