Jonathan Brown Finally Pulls Trigger For UI

After four months without a commitment, the Fighting Illini football team is finally on the move again. The latest to commit is Jonathan Brown, a middle linebacker out of Memphis, Tennessee. He had been leaning to the Illini for a long time, but a sudden strong feeling convinced him it was time to commit.

Memphis Christian Brothers linebacker Jonathan Brown wasn't expecting to make a commitment to Illinois when he did.

"It was sort of random last night. I know I didn't even know I was about to commit, but God told me it was time so I did it."

Brown had favored the Illini for a long time, but the poor season and recent coaching changes made him wonder. Jim Pry had been his primary recruiter, and Pry was let go last Friday. A visit from Illini linebacker coach Dan Disch made him realize that his reasons for wanting to attend Illinois remained the same.

"After visiting twice, I can honestly say it felt like home! I felt that the program is headed in a positive direction, and I want to be a part of that."

Disch sees him as a middle linebacker. Brown is eager to work under his tutelage.

"Coach Disch is a great high energy guy. I'm going to love playing for him."

What are your assets as a football player?

"Energy, aggressiveness. I play hard and I'm very instinctive."

Brown has high goals for his Illini career.

"I want to compete for a national title within three years and a Big 10 championship in two."

The Tennessee star considered Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Mississippi, Southern Miss, Texas Tech, and Vanderbilt besides Illinois. He was asked if he had a message for Illini fans.

"To the fans I just want to say keep supporting the team, and I'm glad to be a part of the family."

Brown is the first Illini player from Memphis in many years. Despite the distance, there is a train that runs from Memphis to Champaign, allowing him inexpensive and ready access to his family and vice versa.

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