Tight End Benson Browne has Illini Interest

The Fighting Illini football team is eager to find a top tight end or two. Paul Petrino wants to emphasize them more in the offense, so there is an opportunity for an ambitious, talented player. Cincinnati's Benson Browne is one of the candidates for an Illini scholarship. He visited campus recently and had a positive impression.

Benson Browne is a tall, good-looking tight end from Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati. He liked several things about the Illinois campus on his visit.

"I really like the campus. The ARC is a pretty neat place. I really like basketball. The student union seemed pretty cool. And I like the facilities."

He has visited several schools, and he had positive things to say about all of them.

"This summer, there's a long list. I went up to Michigan. I got back recently from Michigan State. It was really nice over there. I really liked West Virginia, I had a visit over there. I went to Duke's camp, I really like the tight ends coach over there. I went to Purdue, and everything over there was really nice."

The 6'-6", 240 pounder admits he wasn't giving away any college preferences.

"I like all the schools. I'm an easy come, easy go type of guy."

One thing in the Illini's favor is a close friend and teammate who happens to be a walk-on punter for the Illini this fall.

"Brad Janitz, that's my boy. We're cool. He's always been a soccer player, so when you have a soccer player become a football player, there's nothing but good news. He actually got injured early in our season, but every time he kicked it he kicked it great."

Browne discussed the things he is looking for in a college.

"My main thing is the relationship you can make with the coach, and especially your position coach. That's gonna be a guy you spend a lot of time with.

"Location could also help because I know my mom would love to come to all my games. And a school with small classes helps too. I've been thinking about a major, but I know people change their majors a lot so I'm not sure about that."

He was asked to describe his game.

"As a tight end, I think I can come off the ball really well. I've got pretty good ball skills. When they throw the ball, I'm gonna go get it. If I get one hand on the ball, I've got it. I can move quick and open up my hips and move real well.

"And as for blocking, I'm still raw as a blocker but with good coaching comes a great pupil. I learn well and learn quickly. So I can become as good a blocker as I am a receiver."

Browne is part of a renaissance at Walnut Hills.

"The years before we were on a big 0-36 streak. Last year we got our first win at home and went 5 and 5 for the first time in a long time. And we got our first conference win in I don't know how long. It was a great year.

"I just hope next year we go to the playoffs. Most all of our skill positions are coming back. We lost a couple defensive guys, but everyone else is coming back."

It looks like Browne is in no hurry to make a college decision.

"I'm really just playing the field. I'm trying to make a really good decision. Regret-free."

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