Tide reels in tall, fast wideout

After taking a trip to Mississippi State this past weekend, Gulfport, Mississippi native Keith Brown took little time in deciding that it was time to commit to sign with Alabama. <br><br>Nothing against either MSU or Southern Miss, both of which Brown considered seriously, but Alabama was the obvious choice.

Most Tide fans know by now that the circumstances surrounding Brown's final season of high school football limited his recruiting exposure somewhat. A few months too old to be eligible in his hometown of Gulfport, Brown checked around with nearby programs and settled on Pensacola, Florida.

Pensacola coach Mike Bennett watched out for his senior receiver's welfare (within the rules of course), and Bennett also did what he could to made sure that the word got out to major programs about Brown's talent.

Some schools (like Alabama) listened closely and recruited Brown hard. Others (like Florida State) frankly waited too late.

The Seminoles tried to get in on Brown last week, relying on an in-school visit from Bobby Bowden himself, who arrived at Pensacola High School armed with a doctored Alabama depth chart to try and confuse Brown. It didn't work.

So last night after tripping to Starkville this past weekend, Brown told TheInsiders.com's Jamie Newberg that he first eliminated MSU and then chose Alabama over Southern Miss.

"I committed to Alabama," Brown told Newberg Sunday night. "Alabama was like a home away from home for me. The visit (the previous weekend) was great.

"I just felt real comfortable there."

Earlier Brown had told Andrew Bone, also of TheInsiders.com, that the Alabama squad "felt like a brotherhood."

Keith Brown combines height and speed, more in the mold of pro-type wideouts favored by Tide Head Coach Mike Shula.

Brown was especially impressed with his position coach, Charlie Harbison, who called him last night and urged that he go ahead and commit.

Brown had an outstanding senior season with 56 receptions for 1,310 yards, 19 touchdowns, one kick-off return for a touchdown, one punt return for a touchdown, and five rushing TDs.

He was also named MVP of the Cali-Florida All-Star Game, a prestigious event pitting many of the best prep stars from California and Florida against each other.

Standing a legitimate 6-3 inches tall, Brown possesses sprinter's speed. As a sophomore in Mississippi he placed third in the state in the 100-meters with a time of 11.2. That same year he won the 200-meter dash, clocking in at 21.82. The next season his best times were 11.17 for the 100-meters and 22.29 in the 200-.

Rated a three-star prospect by TheInsiders.com, Brown still must achieve a qualifying test score and successfully complete his senior classes, but it's believed likely that he will qualify.

Wide receiver Keith Brown is the 25th prospect to commit to Alabama as part of the 2004 recruiting class.

Other Tide commitments include:

Cullman two-way lineman Justin Britt,
Lee High School guard/center Antoine Caldwell,
Fort Payne safety Marcus Carter,
Briarwood Christian cornerback Simeon Castille,
T.R. Miller tight end Trent Davidson,
Hillcrest High School offensive tackle Cody Davis,
Evergreen offensive lineman Drew Davis,
Hoover middle linebacker/defensive lineman Curtis Dawson,
Morristown, Tennessee defensive lineman Brandon Fanney,
Prattville defensive lineman Kevin Hamilton,
Hoover defensive end Jeramie Holifield,
Thomasville defensive back Aaron Johns,
Randolph County wide receiver Ezekiel Knight,
Prattville tight end/athlete Travis McCall,
Fort Payne wide receiver Aaron McDaniel,
Jacksonville, Fla. wide receiver Will Oakley,
Hillcrest cornerback Travis Robinson,
Clarke County offensive tackle B.J. Stabler,
Brantley receiver Marcel Stamps,
Hartselle wide receiver Nikita Stover,
Northwest Mississippi Community College defensive tackle Chris Turner,
Pike County tight end Nick Walker,
Hoover quarterback John Parker Wilson, and
Hillcrest safety/athlete Jake Wingo.

NOTE: East Central (Miss.) Community College running back/wide receiver Titus Ryan also committed to Alabama, but he subsequently withdrew from college, and it's now considered impossible for him to be a part of this year's signing class.

RECRUITING NOTES: Alabama is allowed to bring in 19 new scholarshipped players this fall. The Tide is expected to sign as many as 22 to 24 players in February, anticipating that several will not become qualified. It's also possible that one or more players may be asked to delay entry into The University until the following January, counting against 2005 scholarship numbers, depending on how qualifying issues play out.

Read all of the recent recruiting stories on Alabama recruits from TheInsiders.com.

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