Brown said he got through it with the help of his religious faith and the support of coach Pat Santoro, Dr. Spencer, and, especially, his family.
The double major (behavioral neuroscience and environmental studies) said he sat through a class, taking 10 pages of notes, and later didn't remember anything he had written.
"How grateful I am just to be able to wrestle for 20 years," said Brown, who grew up in the Lewisburg program where his father, Dr. Michael Brown, is a long-time assistant coach.
Help all around
Despite that background, a young Nathaniel Brown was not sure which sport or sports he would pursue.
But he began working with former Lewisburg state champion Derek Reber and his father, Frank, and began going to the Bucknell Bison Club to wrestle.
He has a lot of people to thank, but he said, "My mom (Jan Reichard-Brown) and dad have been the constant ever since I was a little kid."
Among the others who have helped him has been teammate Kevin Bailey, his workout partner.
"He is an unsung hero," Brown said.
While Bailey and Brown drilled one morning this week, the former told him he should realize how lucky he is to have met so many people and make so many friends in the sport.
"It is all coming together; it is something special," he said.
Brown is hungry to win a medal this week.
And, if both keep winning, Brown will get a chance to wrestle a friend with whom he has worked out, Line Mountain graduate and fellow state champion Jon Fausey, who is 29-8 for Virginia.
The two have never met in a match.
"I want to be an All-American, and it would be one cool thing if both of us could stand on the same podium. That would be something really good for District 4," Brown said.
What Brown has accomplished to this point is already pretty cool.