'Relentless' Two-Way Player Has AU On His List

This player of the year in Georgia has Auburn on his short list.

Buford, Ga.--Dexter Wood is the coach of Buford High School, the three-time AA state champions in Georgia and he says that Neil Brown is one of the rarest athletes he has ever had the privilege to work with as a coach.

"Neil is defensive player of the year in the whole state in our classification and was All-State last year," the coach says. "I have been coaching 30 years and he may be one of the top two or three defensive players that I have ever coached, or athletes, or football players period. He is great on the offensive line also so he can play both sides of the ball."

The coach says Brown's style of play reminds him of a player most people in the South should recognize. "Probably his style is comparable to the Pollack kid at Georgia," Wood notes. "He is kind of relentless in the way he plays and he jumps out at you pretty quick when you put his tape on."

Wood also explains that Brown's athleticism goes far beyond the football field. "He plays basketball, throws the shot and discus--he is just an all-around great athlete," he says. "He led our team in tackles at nose guard with 134 so that tells you the kind of ability that he has got."

Brown's head coach says his size could be the only possible problem for the defensive lineman, but he also says it is an issue he can certainly overcome.

"He is maybe a shade over 6-2--he has lost a few pounds playing basketball and he is probably between 245 and 250 right now," Wood says. "He played at 255 in the fall, but he comes from a big family and a family that has it pretty tough. Playing three sports he doesn't get to stay in the weight room like we'd like or eat like he should, but there is no doubt that when he gets in a regular environment he is going to gain a lot of weight and be a player. If there was any knock on him it probably was his size."

Neil Brown

Wood says despite his size Brown has a couple of major advantages that will make him a big pickup for whichever college he chooses.

"He is the most fundamentally sound player that you can imagine," the coach says. "He knows how to play with his hands and get off blocks and he plays with such effort. Also his work habits are unparalleled and that is one thing that will make an easy transition for him. We are a pretty hard-nosed, tough football program and he knows how to work hard and practice hard."

His coach says colleges and recruiting services have been keeping Brown pretty busy this recruiting season. "He has been offered up to 33 or 34 division one scholarships so he certainly has had a lot of offers and a lot of interest," Wood explains. "He has been highly recruited. If he chooses to go to Auburn, I guarantee he will represent and he can play either offense or defense.

Wood also notes that so many colleges being so interested in him has made the decision making process pretty tough on the talented defensive lineman.

"Neil is struggling," Wood says. "I know Auburn is still in the hunt. Auburn is still one of his top schools. He is stuck at five and he is trying to get it to three. So, I think that will probably go to signing day."

Brown, who did not make a scheduled visit to Alabama this weekend, said Sunday that he has narrowed his list of finalists to Auburn, Tennessee and Duke.


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