BYU Receives Commit from Brown

Skyline High School fullback/halfback Algernon Brown, a member of the 2010 recruiting class, gave a verbal commitment to BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. The pickup ensures the Cougar offense will have another powerful ball carrier in the mold of Harvey Unga for years to come.

Algernon Brown is the latest to give a verbal commitment to BYU. A cousin of former Nebraska transfer and BYU defensive lineman Manaia Brown, the 6-foot-1-inch, 205-pound junior tailback from Salt Lake City is a man among boys. Algernon Brown, who is of Samoan descent, is a big, physical tailback, and one could readily see how he already stood out among the rest on his varsity football team when he was just a sophomore.

"I consider myself more of a powerful runner," said Brown. "I am an elusive runner, but I mostly play fullback and a little halfback. When I went and talked to Coach Mendenhall I was picturing myself playing in BYU's offense a lot like Harvey [Unga]. I play big and I'm quick off the ball and run powerful. I run physical and like to punish linebackers and safeties. I can catch the ball also. We've put in a lot of new plays in our offense this year that allow our running backs to catch the football."

Indeed, the Cougar coaching staff seemed to be impressed by Brown's versatility.

"They had been watching me my sophomore year," Brown said. "Coach Doman had been attending my games and I would go talk to him from time to time. I was kind of looking forward to the time when they would offer me a scholarship. I was hoping they would offer me one."

Brown's interest in BYU did not simply start when the Cougars began recruiting him, however.

"I've always grown up a BYU fan," Brown said. "I always watched them on TV but never had the chance to actually attend a game at LaVell Edwards Stadium. When they started recruiting me I was invited out to see one of their football games."

Brown attended his first ever game at LaVell Edwards Stadium when the Cougars hosted the Bruins of UCLA.

"It was just a really good experience," said Brown. "I got to go on the field before the game and meet the coaches. It was really exciting for me because during the game I was thinking that I might be able to come here. Looking up at the score, I just wanted to hurry up and get that scholarship."

It wasn't very long after the UCLA game that Brown's wishes came true.

"I was with my parents and Coach Mendenhall took us into his office," said Brown. "He talked to us about the program for a little bit and then gave me a scholarship and had me read it. I was just too overwhelmed to think. Coach Mendenhall would ask me a question and I would just be speechless.

"It was very emotional for my parents. They were just so happy and told me, ‘We have been waiting a long time for this moment.' My parents always wanted my older brothers to go to BYU, but unfortunately they didn't. I was the first one to get a scholarship from BYU and they were just so happy and excited."

Brown's parents made their feelings known to him, but now it was his turn to make his feelings known.

"It was kind of an unforgettable moment for me," Brown said. "My parents and I just kind of talked it over. [Coach Mendenhall] asked me if I wanted to commit and I told him that I was pretty sure that I wanted to. He was pretty straightforward and said it was either a ‘yes' or a ‘no.' I looked at my parents and they didn't say anything, so I took it into my own hands and ended it right there. I committed to him that day before I left his office. Coach Mendenhall then told me that he would be committed to me and will do everything he needs to do as long as I do everything I need to do. When I was in his office I could tell he's a man that is strong in the Church, and even though he's a head coach, he's a very humble guy. I kind of thought of him as Captain Moroni.

Brown also got the opportunity to talk with his future position coach.

"When we walked out of Coach Mendenhall's office I saw Coach Reynolds and he was just really excited for me," said Brown. "He told me that I'm going to do really good over there, and I know that I'll do really well over there also. I've kind of gotten to know Coach Reynolds a little bit after meeting him during Junior Day last January, and then going to the football camps over the summer. I just feel he is not only a good man but also a really good coach."

As he was leaving BYU, everything began to sink in for Brown.

"I was very excited, but I was mostly nervous," Brown said. "I was thinking this was BYU and a top-10 school. The whole college level and playing for a big-time atmosphere kind of caught me a little bit. I just have to get ready for that."

Coming off of consecutive undefeated Mountain West Conference seasons and consecutive Las Vegas Bowl victories, the eighth-ranked Cougars are currently in the running for a BCS bowl bid. Brown said he realizes he will be joining a nationally prominent program.

"Yeah, it's overwhelming a little bit," Brown somberly stated. "I'm excited about it though because I have the chance to play for a school and on a team that has the same principles as how my parents raised me. My parents raised me the same way Bronco Mendenhall wants his players to be, so I know I'll be playing at a place that I'll be comfortable at."

Those principles that Brown referred to help make BYU unique, but they also place a lot of responsibility on the athletes.

"Yeah, I believe that when you play at BYU you play for something more than just yourself," said Brown. "Coach Mendenhall was talking to me about how he wanted his players to be. He told me that one reason why his players are so good is because they all put their faith first in their life. I guess everything else just falls into place if you do everything right. I'm for sure going to serve a mission. I might go right after high school, but I'm not sure yet. So, I just felt that BYU was the place for me."

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