Marcus Brown's Dream Offer

Marianna's versatile athlete Marcus Brown (6-2, 180, 4.3), who recorded a 4.24 40-yard dash at one of Arkansas' camps this summer, gives a verbal pledge to sign with the Razorbacks.

Although the University of Arkansas had stayed in contact with him throughout the season, it wasn't until two weeks ago that Marianna star Marcus Brown began to think that a scholarship offer could actually be in the works for him.

That's when Brown (6-2, 180, 4.3) saw how posting an ACT score of 20 can make college coaches drool almost as much as looking at a 4.24 clocking when timing 40 yard dashes.

"It was about two weeks ago when they started saying that it might actually happen and at the end of last week on Friday they actually did offer," Brown said. "I didn't have to think about it any. I have always wanted to be a Razorback, play in the SEC and help them beat teams like Florida and Tennessee and LSU. It's a dream come true for me."

Whether the 4.24 was legit or not - he also posted a 4.47 time just minutes after that in a race in which he was nipped at the wire by fellow UA commit Darren McFadden - he is legitimately fast.

Brown, who is Arkansas' 17th commitment in the 2005 class, has been told by UA assistant coach Danny Nutt that he is being brought to Fayetteville to be a cornerback.

"I know the main reason they are offering me this scholarship is because of my speed and how they think they can take me and make me an outstanding defensive back with my height, speed and ability to close," Brown said. "I haven't had the best coaching when it comes to footwork and the things you need to perfect on the college level, but they are going to take me and make me so much better."

Arkansas State offered Brown during the season as did UAPB while Middle Tennessee State, South Carolina, Memphis and Ole Miss have all been by to see him at school and expressed interest.

"I appreciate the interest from all those schools and they were talking to me and calling about me taking visits, but there's no need now," Brown said. "I have an offer from Arkansas and that's where I am headed the Good Lord willing."

Brown was a man all over the field for Marianna this year - playing quarterback, tailback, wideout, cornerback, safety and returning kicks.

"I never came out," Brown said. "But it didn't bother me. I always had plenty in the tank at the end. I've always played hard and a lot and endurance has never been a problem."

Brown rushed for 720 yards, had 630 yards receiving, passed for 300 yards, returned kicks for a 17.4 average, had one punt return for 36 yards, 74 tackles and two interceptions.

"When you have an athlete as good as he is, as fast as he is, you have to get him in the best possible positions to help your football team," Marianna head football coach Steve Leonard said. "We just kept moving him around trying to confuse the other teams."

For all of his offensive exploits, Leonard thinks defense is what Brown is best suited for in college.

"He just blankets his guy and took him completely out the play when he was at cornerback and could really bring it when he was at safety because of his size and hitting ability," Leonard said. "I can't wait to see what he is going to be like when he gets the coaching on the college level to go along with his God-given ability."

He'll spend his time this spring running the 100, 200 and anchoring the 400-meter relay for Marianna's track team.

"He can fly," Marianna track coach Clyde Noel said. "And believe it or not, he's just learning how to really run and compete in track. Those times he had at Arkansas are not surprising to me. He is at his best when there is competition and a challenge to be met."

Brown will still take official visits to Arkansas State this weekend, UAPB next weekend and then Arkansas on Jan. 28-30.

"I'm going to be a Razorback - there's absolutely no question about that," Brown said. "But these other two schools spent so much time recruiting me that I want to be kind to them and at least take the visits. South Carolina and the others really came in at the end so I don't feel like I owe them. But like I said earlier - Good Lord Willing - I am going to be a Razorback and I can't wait."

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