Clemson makes a move with Brown

Four-star linebacker Keith Brown, a Miami commitment, just finished his official visit to Clemson. After this weekend, the Tigers are now in serious contention.

OLB Keith Brown Profile

The Miami Norland High School senior is only looking around because of the looming NCAA investigation surrounding Miami.

After official visit No. 1, Clemson has piqued his interest.

"Miami is still my number one, but Clemson is my number one if I de-commit," Brown told on Sunday. "Clemson would be my first choice... I've got other officials to take.

"I know officials, they have you wowed. You can be wowed for a week or so. We'll see how long it's going to last. This decision, I'm going to talk it over with my parents. Then, we're going to see how everything works out."

The No. 12 outside linebacker in the class of 2012 was impressed with what he saw throughout the trip.

"I was amazed at a couple of the things I found out while I was there," he said. "I loved the atmosphere around Death Valley, the fans, the whole town around. The facilities, I loved the coaches, how they talk to you. They bring you in as a family. The players, they treat you like their own."

Before the visit, Brown didn't know Clemson already had a national championship.

"I noticed Clemson won the national championship back in '81. I never knew they had a championship. That was a surprise, too, in a way. I thought Clemson was going for their first one, but they got one back in '81," he said. "They've got a team this year that can do it again, and for years to come, because of all the freshmen right now."

Some of those freshman played a big part in making the weekend such an enjoyable experience.

Brown spent a lot of time with Cortez Davis, Sammy Watkins and 2012 Clemson commitment Travis Blanks, who was also on his official visit.

Keith Brown, pictured here Saturday in Clemson, says the Tigers are now squarely in contention for his services. (Roy Philpott)
"I talked to [Watkins] before I even thought about taking a visit to Clemson," Brown said. "Him and Travis were the biggest impact on me coming.

"I talked to [Watkins] when he first went up there. I was asking, 'How is it up there? How are the coaches up there? How's the atmosphere up there? Is it a dangerous community?' Stuff like that. I talked to Travis, he was just like, 'Come up here and take a look for yourself.'"

The two official visitors spent plenty of time with one another.

"We were together, like 24/7. His room was downstairs, I was upstairs. He called me and tell me to come down and we'd watch a game together. We'd chill, eat together. We built a brotherhood there," Brown said.

It's those kind of personal relationships that will stick with him.

"The best part for me was when I was with the team and we all went to the movies. We saw a movie, 'Killer Elite'. Everybody was just sitting there having a ball. I mean, it's like a brotherhood. It's a family within a family," Brown said. "Everybody was laughing together and having a ball. I enjoyed that part most. It's something so simple, but it's the little things that make the biggest impact around your decision. I liked the vibe around them."

Before he left, Brown went to the West End Zone with Jeff Scott for a meeting with Dabo Swinney.

Brown said, "Coach Swinney was like, 'I like you. I'm a man of my word. I really don't bring committed players to my school for an official visit. I really don't let my committed players visit other schools for an official, but I understand your situation is different. We love you here. You love it here. I see it.'

"I was like, 'You're right coach.'

"He was like, 'Well, I'm not going to pressure you into a decision. Whatever is best for you. If you let me tell it, I'm always going to say Clemson is best for you, but that's not the type of guy I am. I'm not going to seize the dream. You've been up here. You've seen how it's like. It's based upon you now.'"

Swinney's message was a good one.

"I liked the fact that he kept it real with me, instead of like every other school just trying to feed you football, football," Brown said. "You're going to play early, you're going to do this, you're going to do that. He kept it real and simple."

Up next is an official visit to Florida State, which is scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 21-23.

As a junior, Brown had 142 tackles and four sacks. Top Stories