'I Will Be There'

Hargrave Running Back Andre Brown has remained committed to NC State after prepping at the military academy.

Brown starred for Greenville (NC) Rose as a senior, setting the state single-season rushing mark by gaining 3,479 yards and 46 touchdowns on the season while leading Rose to the state 4A championship.

The 2003 AP North Carolina Player of the Year failed to qualify academically after signing with NC State, and therefore his recruitment reopened and he enrolled at Hargrave.

However, he admits that his commitment has never wavered.

"Not at all," Andre Brown said when asked if he had doubts about his commitment. "I committed to State last year, and I'm sticking with them. Some schools tried to talk with me after I showed out at the combine up here, but it didn't really matter."

It was at the Hargrave combine in December that Brown's athleticism and strength wowed college scouts and recruiting analysts in attendance.

Hargrave's starting tailback, he ripped off the fastest 40-yard dash time at the event while posting the second-most reps on the bench.

"I think I am one of the best athletes here," Brown said. "I ran a 4.32 in the 40, I had a 38 inch vertical, and I think I did 21 reps of 225 [pounds]."

What's even more impressive is that Brown has put on added muscle during his stay at Hargrave. The 6'1 tailback enrolled weighing 220 pounds, but he says that now he's bigger and stronger.

"They just weighed me in at 237 pounds," he said. "I came in around 220, but I think the extra weight is going to help me. It's good weight because I still ran the 4.32 at the combine, and I'm now benching 425 pounds.

"Hargrave's been good for me because all we can do is handle our schoolwork and hit the weights. I think it's really made me mature.

"It's been tough, but it's something you've got to do," Brown added. "It makes you appreciate everything, so when I went to State for my visit it made me feel good and realize how ready I am to get there."

He visited NC State officially this past weekend, and former Hargrave star Darrell Blackman was his player host.

"The visit was good," Brown said. "I had fun. I just chilled with the players. Darrell was my host. He's a cool guy.

"I just can't say how ready I am to get down there for good. Getting to chill with all the guys really makes you realize it."

Brown will join Jamestown (NC) Ragsdale star Toney Baker next season in NC State's backfield as both newcomers will compete for playing time right away. With Brown, Baker, Blackman, Bobby Washington, and Reggie Davis, NC State will have one of the nation's best group of running backs.

"Man, that's going to only make us better," Brown said. "We're going to be so deep that everybody's going to be able to play and when you get your chance you will want to make plays."

Perhaps the biggest question for Wolfpack fans is if Brown will academically qualify after spending the year at Hargrave.

"I will be there," Brown said. "My plan is to get to State as soon as I can. I just need to finish out the year here at Hargrave, and I'll be ready to go."

Film Session: Andre Brown I

Film Session: Andre Brown II

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