Upcoming sophomore Dre Brown is advanced beyond his years. Performing at an Illinois summer camp in Rockford and later in Champaign, the running back demonstrated all the traits necessary to become one of the top backs in the country by the time he's a senior.
He measured in at 5'-11", 185 pounds and ran a 4.45 forty and 4.2 shuttle. These are exceptional times for anyone, and especially for someone so young.
"I ran that on pretty long grass, so I felt pretty good."
Quickness is just one of his assets as a running back.
"My strengths are my speed, I can get into my cuts pretty good, and I just love football. I love playing. I have a great passion for it, and I love being around my teammates and making plays."
Brown made a name for himself as a true freshman despite missing more than half the season.
"I was on varsity as a freshman, but I only played three games. I broke my collarbone. I did pretty well in the three games. I had over 500 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns."
Brown is intelligent and mature beyond his years. His interviews sound like a senior rather than a sophomore.
"My only experience has been for the school newspaper. I'm only 14. People think I'm older, but I'm not."
Illini coaches have made a strong impression on Brown.
"I like them a lot. They're intense, but I liked the drills. They want to coach you and make you better. And they're really fun too."
Brown has three schools sticking out to him right now.
"My dream school is actually UCLA. It's a long way out there. My whole family is in central Illinois just outside Springfield, so the U of I is also a good choice. And NIU. Coach (Dave) Doeren is doing big things over there. I love DeKalb man."
His academic preferences attract him to the Bruins.
"Academics are a big factor. I want to go to UCLA because they have a good film school. I like video editing. I do a lot of highlight videos for my teammates and players I like. But then a lot of Big 10 schools have good Business schools. I like Business too."
Brown was all about team at the UI 7-on-7 camp.
"We did really good. We went 4-1 and beat a pretty good all-star team, which is pretty good for being a public school. We're working hard in the off season, and it's paying off right now."
He feels it will carry over to the fall.
"We look really good this year. We're balanced. Our line could use a little work, but we've been in the weight room. We have a couple guys who could go Division 1. You've got to look out for them."
Illinois and NIU are the only schools in touch with Brown right now, but that will change soon. Before it's over, the Illini will have to battle UCLA and numerous other top schools for his services. He's the real deal.