Brown's road to Louisville was well-travelled. The 6'2, 225-pound linebacker originally committed to hometown Miami, but switched his commitment to Illinois just days before Ron Zook's dismissal. In between he visited Purdue, South Florida and Clemson. After Zook was let go, Brown made an official visit to Louisville in mid-December that sealed his decision to play for Charlie Strong.
"I really like the coaches at Louisville and I chose them over Illinois and Miami," Brown said. "I like Louisville and I think I can play early there too. The coaches are a big reason why I chose them."
Brown's decision provides a major boost for Strong's rising 2012 recruiting class. It also marks the second straight year one of the nation's top prospects has announced for Louisville during the U.S. Army All-American game. Last year, four-star Miami Southridge safety Gerod Holliman picked Louisville on national television. Brown, who will enroll at Louisville next week, led Norland to a perfect 15-0 record and Class 5A Florida State championship this season.
"(Brown) was very instrumental in our state championship," Norland coach Daryle Heidelburg said. "He was one of our defensive captains. He got to the point where he had the freedom to change calls and make adjustments as far as what he saw on the field. He's a student of the game and picks up tendencies. He was big for us defensively this year."
Brown, rated the No. 20 outside linebacker prospect nationally by Scout.com, could play multiple positions in college. He recorded 113 tackles, five sacks and returned an interception for touchdown this season. As a junior, Brown finished with 142 tackles and four sacks.
"He's 6'2, 220, but he has 4.5 speed which really surprises you from a guy that big," Heidelburg said. "He's a good athlete. He could play tight end or be a stand up rush end. He can play so many different positions."
Though he could play several positions in college, Heidelburg predicts he'll make his mark as an inside linebacker for the Cardinals.
"I think he's an inside guy," Heidelburg said. "He's one of the biggest linebackers (Louisville) will have and with his speed he has the ability to go sideline to sideline."
Brown's biggest hurdle, according to his coach, will be adjusting to Strong's defensive schemes.
"The biggest thing is just adjusting to what the coaches want him to do different than what I was asking him to do," Heidelburg said. "His strength is pretty good. He's probably as strong and as fast as some of the linebackers already on campus. His thing will basically be the learning curve and understanding the defense. The coaches are excited about him and they'll take time to work him. Once he learns he has the ability to take a kid and help him learn."
Brown is rated the fourth-best linebacker in the state of Florida and the 34th-best overall prospect in the state by SunStateFootball.com.