As the years have gone by and you have seen the receivers get that much bigger, the defensive backs have followed suit. Not very often will you still find those valued members in the secondary below 5'10".
Well, Mike Brown is one of those, standing just a half inch under that mark, so for him to be sitting on over 20 offers, you are talking about a special player indeed. Special enough that Brown was able to score on almost a third of his carries last season at running back while amassing almost 1,000 yards and most teams are still looking at the St. Peters Preparatory star to play on the other side of the ball.
Brown thinks he knows the reason.
"I'm real smart back there." Brown said of playing DB. "We play a lot of zone, so I learn to be able to read the QB, the play, my guy, everything I need to, to either make a play on the ball or come up in run support."
Brown attributes many things to the kind of attention he's seeing for the defensive back position, but he said that regardless of his size, you won't find a reluctant bone in his body. "I'm going to be physical with anyone." he said. "I am a good tackler, plus I know how to lay a hit on someone if I get a chance."
Brown's size doesn't seem to have hindered him and it's safe to say that his best forty time of 4.27 doesn't hurt either. You want a DB that can close on the ball fast? I think you've found your guy. "In our scheme, you have to be quick in being able to read it and then just as quick getting there." Brown stated. "I've never had a problem doing that at all."
If Brown seems a little lax in trying to pinpoint these schools is that his criteria for which one he chooses stems from a very personal and up-close perception. He's not even going to consider a team that he hasn't had a chance to see for himself. "I have to get to know that team, the coaches and the program." Brown stated. "I have to get an idea about the atmosphere and how comfortable I am. I can only do that if I visit."
Thus far, Penn State and Rutgers are the only schools fortunate enough to have Brown as a visitor, but Mike stated that he will for certain be visiting Virginia and Maryland, schools that will have their "junior days" close enough that Brown will be able to attend both. And, as to those oh-so-valuable officials, Brown already has it in his mind about at least a couple of teams that he's interested in visiting when he decides to start taking those either during or after his last season. "I'd like to visit Virginia for one of those." Mike said. "And, I am really interested in Nebraska, because my former quarterback (Joe Dailey) goes there."
With Nebraska on his list, you can say it's logical to assume distance isn't a problem and as for weather, Brown is in Jersey, so that's hardly an issue as well. Really, for Brown, the only issue is time and whatever amount it takes is going to be just fine with him in the end. "I'm more interested in making the right decision than I am about making a decision fast or anything like that." he said. "Like I said, if the place feels like that's where I need to be, that's where I will go."
"I don't know when that's going to happen, but I will make sure it's the best decision for me when it does."
Brown is considered to be one of the top defensive back prospects in the East, but is also being recruited as a running back. Mike said that given his choice, he would opt for the defensive side of the ball. "I just think that when it comes to making plays, that's where I can make the most." he said.
Mike doesn't have any camps scheduled for the rest of the Summer and is unsure as to any other unofficial visits other than the ones stated above.
Brown carries a 3.3 GPA and is taking his ACT this month.
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 402-730-5619