Barkevious Mingo hails from a small city on the west bank of the Ouachita River that's home to two dynasties -- one built on duck calls and reality television, the other on high school football.

The lithe outside linebacker, in Berea for the start of Browns minicamp Friday, does his part to promote Louisiana as the Sportsman's Paradise. Mingo owns camo boots, shorts and a jacket. He not only fishes, but bagged a small deer on a December hunting trip.

"It looked bigger in the scope," the Browns first-round pick said. " . . . I shot Bambi."

Like so many in this God-fearing town of 13,100 residents, he's also an avid viewer of "Duck Dynasty," the A&E reality show chronicling the adventures of Phil Robertson and his shaggy-haired, long-bearded kin who have made a fortune on duck-hunting products and redneck humor.

"First thing people say when they find out you're from West Monroe is Duck Dynasty." Mingo said. "We tried to get them to stand on the sidelines of an LSU-Ole Miss game, but they were still in filming their show."

As he spent Tuesday running barefoot across the high-school practice field catching passes and clowning with members of the Rebels football team, folks here said they're happy Mingo answered to a calling almost as popular as the one found in the Duck Commander's warehouse and gift shop.

Prior to his junior year, the multisport athlete with the easy smile joined the football team and quickly made his mark on one of the nation's most successful prep programs. The Rebels have sent linebacker Bradie James (Texans) and offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (Bengals) to the NFL in recent years, and see Mingo as another role model for their community.

"I believe in his character," said Whitworth, the Pro Bowler who still owns a home in West Monroe and conducts a local youth football camp. "Mingo knows what's important on and off the field. I've watched him grow up and I know he's the type of person who's the first in line to do anything."

Before departing for Cleveland, Mingo spent parts of his last two days in town at the high school. He distributed autographed photos of himself holding his Browns No. 51 jersey to teachers and administrators. He posed for pictures with secretaries. He spoke to the football players, addressing everyone by first name or nickname.

Quarterback Jon Randall Belton recalls standing along the fence at Rebel Stadium as a child begging Mingo for his gloves after another victory. On Tuesday, he was lofting spirals to the 6-4, 237-pound manchild who broke free from tight coverage.

"The way he acts teaches us about staying humble and staying true where you came from," Belton said. "Even if you are good you don't have to act like you're too good for others."

The No. 6 pick in last month's draft is about to become a millionaire, but he's still the kid from Teacher Street who likes his chicken-fried steak from Grandy's and prefers a hometown lawyer to represent him rather than a big-city agent.

He embodies the spirit of the Phil Robertson catchphrase: "Happy, happy, happy."