2006: Tavares Brown

HAMLET, N.C. – Richmond County defensive lineman Tavares Brown is a big, strong, mature prospect, driven to become a successful Division I college athlete. He also has temper, but veteran Raiders coach Ed Emory says it's not a major concern and when channeled will be an effective weapon on the college level.

Emory says Brown would have probably won the state AAU wrestling championship last season had his opponent not tried to run from him the entire match. Brown, who was undefeated and favored to win the heavyweight title, became frustrated and slammed his headgear to the mat and was disqualified.

"He kind of goes off about once a year, but other than that, he's very driven to be successful," Emory said.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pounder, who runs a 4.74 40-yard dash, recorded 76 tackles and eight sacks as a junior, and 190 tackles and 20 sacks as a freshman and sophomore. Brown bench presses 330 pounds.

"He's been a special player since he was in the seventh grade," Emory said. "He's a driven guy that has always wanted to be exceptional. You don't ever know what goes into a guy's body or mind that makes him that way. If I knew that, I wouldn't ever lose one. He's working awful hard in the weight room."

Like several other Raiders football players, Brown lives with members of the Richmond County coaching staff. His mother was unable to support him, but they do remain in close contact, although she lives out of state.

"My wife has adopted him along with everybody else," Emory said. "That's the way people down here in Richmond are; they'll find a way to keep you going."

Although he has received correspondence from almost every major school in the country, Emory says his leader now is probably Tennessee.

"If I was out there, I would have offered him as a sophomore," said the former East Carolina head coach. "I don't know why [he likes Tennessee]," emphasizing that it's way too early in the recruiting process to make an accurate prediction.

"You can tell he's going to be a player."

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