While Michigan State has a pair of quarterbacks ready to enter the fray over the next two seasons with Rock Lombardi heading to East Lansing as a part of the 2017 class and Theo Day committed to the Spartans in the class of 2018, the Spartans have already put in plenty of work on some of the top signal callers in the Class of 2019.
And this week, the Spartans were at Madison Heights Madison High School to see one of the top 2019 quarterback prospects in the state of Michigan, Austin Brown.
Brown, who spent each of the past two seasons at Detroit Catholic Central, transferred to Madison ahead of his junior season, recently spoke with Spartan Nation to talk about his chance to work out in front of Michigan State quarterbacks coach Brad Salem.
“It was at Madison High School, I had a lot of guys from the team come out there and they had a good showing for me,” he said. “I thought I threw the ball very well and it was a good little time, it wasn’t too tight, we were having some fun out there, throwing some good routes and I thought overall I did pretty well. Obviously, there’s some stuff I can work on, but I think I put the most into it and I think I did a good job in front of coach.”
Even though Brown is just finishing up his sophomore year of high school, the 6-foot-1, 195 pound signal caller said that he feels he has already established a strong relationship with Salem and feels that could play a factor in his decision if the Spartans extend an offer to Brown.
“I think coach Salem is a really good dude,” he said. “As I talk to him here and there and when I go up to visit and all of that, I think we have a good connection. He’s a good dude, he’s easy to talk to and I think that’s someone I’d be willing to play for one day because I’ve got that good relationship with him already and it’s early. I thought it was a great time and I’m very humbled to have a coach like that come into my school and talk to me, not everybody in the world gets to have a Division 1 college coach come in and talk to them. “
Brown has already made a handful of visits to East Lansing and said he does plan to camp at Michigan State this summer and currently holds offers from Toledo, Miami (OH) and Akron as he prepares for his junior season.
With three offers in hand, Brown has also received interest from a couple of Big Ten schools along with Michigan State, including Wisconsin and Northwestern.
Wisconsin quarterbacks coach Jon Budmayr was also in Madison Heights this week to see Brown and the junior-to-be said that the Badgers are another program he would have interest in.
“Coach Budmayr, the quarterbacks coach came in and Wisconsin’s a great program and Michigan State’s a great program,” he said. “I’m just looking for a way to use my football abilities and my athletic abilities to exchange that for an education and get my four years and wherever feels right for me is where I’m going to go and whoever I have the best relationship with, that’s where I’m going to be at for my four years of college.”
For many young recruits, what Northwestern offers academically and athletically is appealing to them and that is also the case for Brown.
“Obviously, their education speaks loudly to me,” he said. “Ever since I was little, my dad – he was the first one to get his degree in his family – that’s all he’s preached to me. I’m a pretty good football player but one thing I keep going on is hard in the classroom and making sure I’m going to get that piece of paper, so I can feed my family. Northwestern, they’re a great program, it’s in a good location, Chicago, their football is great and it’d be a great opportunity to go out there and see what they’ve got.
In his sophomore season, Brown guided Catholic Central to the Division 1 semifinal game, but he suffered a broken ankle and was unable to play in the state championship game.
Brown noted that while he couldn’t talk with Salem because of recruiting restrictions, Salem told Brown’s father that he was impressed with certain aspects of his game.
“Obviously, we can’t talk right now because I’m a sophomore, but he knows what I’m capable of,” he said. “Coach Salem today actually talked to my dad and said that he likes my release and he knows I’ve got the athleticism and he knows I’ve got all the tools, it’s just a matter of me keep working and see how everything plays out.”
Through two years of high school football, Brown has compiled a 22-3 record as a starting signal caller and said that he feels that while he isn’t the biggest of quarterbacks, he feels what separates him from others at his position is his will to win.
“I’m going to be honest, I’m not the biggest cat, I’m about 6-foot, 6-foot-1, 195,” he said. “But what I do is I’m going to go out there and I’m going to ball my brains out and I’m going to do the best I can to make plays and I’m going to do whatever I can to win the ballgame. It might not look pretty, but some way, somehow I’m going to find a way to win.”
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