5-star LB looks toward Invasion visit

Summer visits will help Baron Browning make another informed cut to his list. Notre Dame will get the five-star outside linebacker on campus for the Irish Invasion next month in hopes of remaining a contender for the long haul.

Baron Browning isn’t bothering much with the recruiting process this spring.

College coaches have flooded to Kennedale, Texas, to check on the five-star outside linebacker at track practices throughout the last month. Browning acknowledges their existence but doesn’t plan to reengage until summer.

“It's really cool I guess,” Browning said. “I’m not paying too much attention. I might shake their hands or wave or whatever. But I’ve just been busy working as far as track. I’m just focusing on that really. I’m focusing on state Saturday.”

Browning will cap track season this weekend at the Texas state championships. He’s part of Kennedale’s 4x200-meter relay team, one of nine qualifiers for the state finals in Class 4A.

Once track is complete, Browning will turn his attention back to recruiting by making unofficial visits. Ohio State will host him next week while Alabama gets Browning on campus June 4.

Notre Dame will get its shot at the 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect for its Irish Invasion camp in mid-June

“They’re in my top 10,” said Browning, who will also visit Michigan during that trip to the Midwest. “That’s one of the few schools I haven’t visited yet, so I want to get up there and see them and get to know them better.”

Other programs in his top 10 include LSU, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, UCLA and USC. Browning, a one-time Baylor commitment left the Bears off his short list.

Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Sanford acts as area recruiter from Browning. Recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach Mike Elston has also pitched in, laying out what the future could look like in South Bend.

Elston has set lofty goals.

“Coach Elston said they could see me being like another Jaylon Smith, in that role,” Browning said. “They said I’m pretty athletic so they could really see me in that Jaylon Smith role. I could win the Butkus.”

Browning wants to use his Notre Dame trip to talk more with Elston and get a better feel for head coach Brian Kelly. Taking in the campus environment should give him a better idea about the program in general.

“Just getting to meet coach Kelly,” Browning said. “I’ll get more time with coach Elston and get more familiar with them, get a vibe for the environment. I’ll see what it would be like if I went there. Just the day-to-day environment.”

Summer visits should help Browning continue to trim his list. He’d like to name a top five after those trips are complete. There’s also the possibility that he doesn’t need to see anything else.

“Maybe even one,” Browning said. “I just have to be 110 percent. Wherever that school might be, just no second thoughts whatsoever. I’m all the way in.”



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