Tavares Brown Gives His All

While the 2006 Richmond Senior Raiders didn't live up to the expectations its tradition places on them every year, they were still able to post an 11-0 regular season record, and make it to the third round of the NCHSAA 4A playoffs.

North Carolina commit Tavares Brown, a 6-foot 260-pound defensive tackle, led a Raiders defense that kept opponents to just about a touchdown a game. Brown recorded 124 tackles (79 solo), six sacks, six QB hurries, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries on the year.

For his accomplishments, Brown received All-State and All-Conference honors as well as a spot on North Carolina's Shrine Bowl roster.

According to Richmond Senior head football coach Ed Emory, the North Carolina coaches recruited Brown for more than his on field ability.

"I think they liked his character, and I think they liked his demeanor," said Emory. "Football wise, he'll give you everything he's got. I think he can play any place on the defensive line and I think he can play any place on the offensive line. They'd like for him to be a few inches taller."

Further proving the strength of his character, Brown never veered from his late October pledge to the Tar Heels. This past weekend he made his only official visit, a trip to Chapel Hill.

In addition to the Tar Heels, Brown owned scholarship offers from N.C. State, East Carolina, and Maryland. Emory believes the way UNC's coaching staff handled Brown's recruitment contributed to his decision to become a Tar Heel.

"They did a great job recruiting him," said Emory. "They stay on top of everything all the time. We live in a community that is a Carolina community. John Bunting and Coach [Hal] Hunter did such a good job on him. He went on his own [to Chapel Hill] there three-four times last summer. I don't know what exactly triggered him, but he felt like it was where he wanted to be."

A busy wrestling season almost prevented Brown from taking any official visits. Currently, Brown owns a 20-0 wrestling record and is considered one of the top wrestlers in the state in the heavyweight division.

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