This has been a trying last few weeks for highly-regarded Louisiana prep running back Chris Brown.
Alexandria's Brown (5-11, 200, 4.4), one of the University of Arkansas' top 2006 recruiting prospects was inland enough to avoid most of the wrath of Hurricane Katrina, but family of his in New Orleans was not as fortunate.
"I had some family that lost a lot, but they were able to evacuate before the hurricane actually hit and all the water came pouring into the city," Brown said. "It's very sad what happened and we are all dealing with it down here in one way or another."
Brown and Alexandria were suppose to open the 2005 season last Friday night with New Orleans Douglass High School, but that was called off because of the tragic circumstances in that city.
So a hastily arranged game with No. 2 Bastrop turned into a season-opening 21-17 loss for Alexandria.
"Since we didn't know we were going to play them until Thursday, we didn't really have a chance to be as prepared or have as good a gameplan as we would have liked," Brown said. "But we can't use that as an excuse. We just made a few too many mistakes and they took advantage of those."
Brown r- who will be on an official visit to Arkansas Oct. 14-16, rushed 22 times for 105 yards and caught two passes for 79 yards in the game while having a scoring run of 22 yards and a catch that he turned into a 73-yard scoring dash.
"I thought I did okay, but I would have traded any of those big plays for a win," Brown said. "But I think we will see them down the line. They are now the No. 1 team in the state and I feel like we would have been if we had won. But now we'll just have to get it done the rest of the season and see them and beat them at the end of it."
Hurricane Katrina has also added a few new players - evacuees from New Orleans - to the Alexandria roster, ones that will be more incorporated into things when the Trojans host West Ouachita on Friday night.
"We've had about 50 kids move in because of what happened," Brown said. "We've added a very good quarterback and a wide receiver that are going to really help. You just wish it didn't have to happen this way for them, but we will welcome them in."
Brown, who has rushed for over 4,000 yards and 51 touchdowns in his career, is one of three Alexandria players that the Razorbacks are recruiting, came up for Houston Nutt's Camp in June and will be in for official visits on for their game with Auburn.
The other two players - wideout Will Coppage (6-3, 180, 4.4) and cornerback Gary Carmoosh - don't have scholarship offers from Arkansas' grid program just yet, but they could be forthcoming.
Coppage - who is a three-time long jump state champion in Louisiana and already has a track offer from Arkansas - had 26 catches for 636 yards last season in his first year of football and started this year's campaign with three catches for "around 60 yards" according to Brown.
He is also getting interest from TCU, Texas A&M and Southern Mississippi.
"We are all three looking forward to coming up there for an official visit and taking it a game and seeing what it is like on a football weekend," Brown said. "That's going to help me back my decision."
Brown has not set up official visits to Alabama or Oklahoma - the two other schools he has the top of his list with Arkansas - or TCU and Mississippi State, two other schools he is considering.
"Really all three of them are even going into the season and I'll just take this visits and we'll see how things work out," Brown said. "I know they are all three very good schools with very good football programs. The others are good schools, too, but Arkansas, Alabama and Oklahoma are there at the top."
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