Feels Like Family

The relationship began last week, but Boone High (Orlando. Fla.) cornerback/receiver Jeremy Brown and his father Terrell already feel like they're talking with family. The gentlemen they're talking with has the same last name, but he is isn't related. It's Notre Dame defensive coordinator Corwin Brown.

Notre Dame offered Jeremy Brown a scholarship last week, making the 5-foot-11, 165-pound junior's future college decision a lot tougher. He had it down to two teams, Florida and Auburn, but the offer from Irish head coach Charlie Weis, and the quick bond with Brown has made it a three-team race.

"We talk to coach Brown often," said Brown, who holds 12 scholarship offers. "I hear from him once every other day. We talk for a good little bit. He is just checking in to see how I'm doing, and is trying to get to know me. He is a real nice guy, and I enjoy talking to him."

His father, a youth pastor and evangelist couldn't agree more.

"We've been talking with coach Brown, and it feels like we've been talking with family," he said. "The repor with us and Notre Dame has really built up in a short period of time. The way they handle things is so professional. The academics is there, the program is there. We didn't realize the graduation rate is so high, and that is one of the things we were looking at. Again, it just feels like we are talking with family."

Brown and his 4.43 speed in the 40-yard dash hauled in six touchdown passes last season. He also intercepted six passes. Two of those he returned for scores, but a penalty nullified both plays.

Florida and Auburn are in regular contact. Tennessee is still being considered, then Notre Dame shocked Brown with an offer.

"It came out of nowhere," Brown stated. "I think I got one letter from them about their spring game, and three days later I was at school and was told coach Weis wanted to talk to me. It just blew me away. It caught me off guard.

"Before I heard from Notre Dame, I was kind of battling between Florida and Auburn. Both have great coaching staffs, top of the SEC. Then when I heard from Notre Dame, I can't help but to throw them in there."

Brown thought about Notre Dame, but never thought they would offer. Jimmy Clausen signing with the Irish intrigued him. He watched Richard Jackson from nearby Clermont, Fla., and his East Ridge High team take on Boone High rival Edgewater. When Jackson committed to Notre Dame, it made Brown think about maybe playing there.

"Their program is on the rise," Brown said. "I think their coaching staff has a lot of affiliation with the NFL, whether they played in it or coached in it. So far they all just seem real nice."

Almost every team recruiting him, has Brown listed as a cornerback as his primary position. But the staffs at Auburn and Florida are bickering about who gets him on the next level. If it were up to Brown, he'd like to get a crack at receiver.

Brown, who also bench presses 245 pounds and squats 340 pounds, works out at camps and combines at receiver. He didn't start playing defensive back until last season.

"The only time I played corner is when I'm at school and play with my team," Brown said. "I've picked up different tricks and learned some things about receiver at these camps. I've done alright playing for my team at corner, but there probably is some things I haven't picked up yet."

Florida and Auburn aren't the only two schools with coaches campaigning for Brown to play on both sides of the ball.

"Coach Brown said he is going to try to keep him on defense because his skills are there, but coach Weis wants him to play offense," Terrell Brown said.

"I want to make plays," Brown said. "Every time I get the ball I think touchdown. I'm not the guy that wants to get the first down, I want to score. I like making people miss.

"At corner, I have great instincts on the ball. I get a good jump on the ball. I hardly ever get beat deep. I just try to make plays."

One of the things Brown is looking into is enrolling early. He has a 3.0 GPA, and has sat down with his counselor to talk about what he would have to do to graduate in the winter. He is going to go to summer school.

Brown was set to make his college decision before the start of his senior season. He had already seen the campuses at Florida and Auburn, but with Notre Dame entering the mix, he needs to see the school. Brown hopes to make it to South Bend in the summer, but if not, will make an official visit for a game in September.

"I don't want to be too deep in my season before I decide," Brown said. "No later than October. I hope to go up to Notre Dame, check out their campus, the field, go to a game or something."

Then decide what college football family he is going to join.

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