Ocean Springs, Miss.--As a wide receiver coming up in today's world, it would be the ultimate compliment to be compared to some of the top stars in the college and NFL game at the moment. That is the just the case with receiver DeAndre Brown as his combination of size (6-5 1/2, 215) and speed (4.41 in the 40-yard dash) have him being compared to the best of the best in the game.
"I'm big and fast," Brown says. "I'm a physical receiver that will go up and get the ball. For my size people would be surprised at how I can move. Most people say I look like Calvin Johnson."
His likeness to Johnson hasn't gone unnoticed by college recruiters as they have lined up to make an early sales pitch to Brown. With more than a dozen offers already from schools all over the South, Brown says that it has been a busy and hectic time already, but it has allowed him to get a feel for some of the colleges courting him for next year's signing class.
Brown is the prototypical big, fast receiver for today's game.
Another school that has jumped into the fray is Auburn. Looking for a big wide receiver with playmaking ability to come in and see early action, the Tigers have shown more interest in Brown in recent weeks and called. AU coaches called to check in on the receiver over the weekend. He says that Auburn is moving up on his list of schools and he's anxious to learn even more about the program in the coming months before making his decision.
"I heard from them on Sunday," Brown says. "I already had an offer from them. Auburn is definitely in my top five I would have to say.
"I'm building a real good relationship with Coach (Greg) Knox and Coach (Don) Dunn and Coach (Tommy) Tuberville. They told me I can come in and start as a true freshman if I handle business. I know it's just to suck you in a little bit, but it just shows me that I can help them."
Starting since his freshman season at wide receiver, Brown is coming off a solid junior year in which he caught 21 passes for 350 yards and seven touchdowns.
Not just a receiver, Brown also carried the ball 15 times for 338 yards and six touchdowns and completed 3-5 passes for 170 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The big-play threat also added two kickoff returns for scores in 2006.
A standout on the basketball court as well as the track, Brown scored 15 points and seven rebounds per game as a junior. While he hasn't participated in track since his freshman season because of an injury last year and wanting to concentrate on spring football this time around, Brown won the state title in the 200 meter championship as a ninth-grader and says that shows his true speed. It's that speed that has schools anxious to sign him on the dotted line next February, something he says he still can't believe.
"It's just a very big accomplishment for me," Brown says. "It's shocking really. I never thought it would happen. I never expected to be where I am today."