Target 2004: Thomas Brown

Tucker (Ga.) High School's Thomas Brown is an explosive talent whose list of suitors reads like a Who's Who of perennial football powers. The 5-10, 185-pound tailback/cornerback told <I> IC</I> Wednesday afternoon that North Carolina will have to make up ground in the pursuit of his commitment.

"He's the fastest player I've ever coached," (4.35-40 time) Tigers' head coach Bill Ballard said, "and he has great vision. He's a Warrick Dunn-type who also has great hands as a receiver. He also excels at corner, and Penn State has offered Thomas a scholarship to play corner."

Coming off a 12-1 campaign last season and eventually losing in the Georgia state quarterfinals, it appears Brown will be a cornerstone of Tucker's 2003 unit. And a large contingent of college football's high profile programs have taken notice, as offers from Auburn, Florida State, Notre Dame, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Penn State and Wake Forest are on the table.

"I don't have any preference right now, but Auburn, Georgia, Maryland, Florida State, Virginia and Wake Forest make up my list right now," Brown said. "Coach Bunting visited me and expressed interest, but I haven't visited UNC and don't know much about it."

As for the factors that will ultimately determine Brown's future, playing time was interestingly mentioned foremost. Brown also emphasized tradition, education, and "a stable coaching situation" as requirements for his signature.

Ballard finally added "He's a special player-there is no doubt he can be an All-American at the next level." When asked about Brown's weaknesses, Ballard deadpanned, "We try not to coach him much because we will just mess him up. Thomas is also very humble, a good student and comes from a good family." Ballard also said that Brown has already scored well on the SAT and will retake the exam later this year.

Brown plans to attend Furman's football camp this Sunday, followed by visits to Auburn's 707 Camp, Florida State, and finally will end his tour in Athens later this summer. It is a safe bet that after displaying his talents throughout the Southeast this year, UNC's list of competitors in the recruitment of Brown will grow even longer.

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Check out IC's Thomas Brown profile.


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