"I've been going to Ole Miss games my whole life, but this was my first recruiting visit to Ole Miss this off season," Brown said. "I came up there with my father and another offensive lineman named Trey Smith was there as well. I know Trey is also one of their top offensive line targets. We got to hang out a lot Saturday and go to the basketball game that night. The Pavilion is amazing. That was my first time to get to see it. I was blown away. The atmosphere in there was amazing."
To say that Ben is no stranger to Ole Miss and their program is an understatement. His grandfather, (TE) Allen Brown, played for Ole Miss and the Green Bay Packers in the 60's. His grandfather on his mother's side, (OG) Bobby Robinson, was a lineman for the Rebels in the 60's. It doesn't stop there as his father (OG) Tim Brown and uncle (OG) Burkes Brown both played for Ole Miss in the late 80's through the early 90's.
"Yea, I've pretty much grown up around Ole Miss as you know. I have pretty much seen everything there is to see up there, outside of the Pavilion, which I still can't believe is that nice. But Coach Luke wanted me to come up there for a weekend so I gave him the best date which was last weekend. He was happy to have me up there. I just wanted to continue to build my relationship with all of their coaches. I went up there for their camp last summer and spent some time working under coach Luke. He teaches perfect technique, and I like the way his linemen develop. He's just a great offensive line coach."
The Ole Miss offensive line coach gave Ben a map of where everything currently stands between the two parties.
"We talked about their offensive line class last year. They signed a bunch of guys so he told me they were probably only going to take three in this class. Coach Luke said I'm one of their main candidates to get one of those spots. That was relieving to hear. Well, I guess the better word would be exciting. I was excited to hear that. We talked about getting back down there for their camp in June. I can't wait."
What stands out about the Rebels to this point?
"Obviously it's a family oriented staff. They take care of their players. Their coaches are very close with their players and that's the most important thing to me. But what I like about Ole Miss is just that it's high class up there. Everything is done right up there. From their locker room, to indoor practice field, to weight room. It's all superior."
The St. Aloysius star has two offers in hand and a couple more are nearing.
"USM and La Tech are my current offers. Missouri is getting serious. And as you know both Ole Miss and MSU are talking to me a lot. ULL as well."
What is Mississippi State saying?
"Well, I told them that while I would be honored to play for Ole Miss; I made it clear I'm not just limiting myself to Ole Miss. I have not cancelled out any of my options, including MSU. I just told them that I'm very interested in State. Look, it's hard to play at Ole Miss because they have become a national school. They are getting the best players in the country at Ole Miss right now. I mean I would love to compete with those guys, but I have to keep my options open. I might not get a chance. You just never know."
The All-Warren County selection got a chance to take in the MSU junior day the weekend before Ole Miss and came away very impressed.
"They have an incredible campus as well. I got a chance to go to their junior day, and it was amazing. I toured their facilities and got a chance to talk to some of the players that I know up there. They are all really good guys. I had a great time up there as well. Coach (John) Hevesy is a great offensive line coach as well. It was a great overall experience."
Southern Mississippi just hired a personal friend of their family, Jay Hopson, as their head coach. The Eagles will remain a factor.
"Wow, I was so excited for coach Hopson. Our whole family was fired up about it. Coach Hopson played with my dad at Ole Miss. They are real close friends. I'm close with coach Hopson. I love that guy. USM is definitely in the picture for me. Man, that would be awesome to get to play for coach Hopson. Not many people get to say that you have a personal relationship with a head coach. I do with coach Hopson. I have known coach Hopson since I was a little kid. It's a blessing he wants me to come play for him. It's definitely something I am looking into. I'm going to go down there on April 2nd for their junior day. I can't wait to take a look at what they have to offer."
Ben has put on 30 pounds this off season. He's now up to 6-foot-6, 290-pounds.
"I think my parents are ready to get me out of the house. They say it costs them more to feed me than what they pay on their house note (laugh). I've worked hard in the gym this off season. I'm benching over 350 lbs right now and squatting a lot more than that. I play offensive and defensive tackle in high school, but all of the colleges like me on offense. They haven't really said if it will be offensive tackle or offensive guard. I can play either. I'll play wherever I'm needed. I just want to be on the field somewhere. They say I have pretty good feet for a big guy. I ran a 5.3 forty at Ole Miss' camp last summer. That's when I kind of opened their eyes. I have a 27" vertical. I'm just working hard at perfecting my techniques and working on my explosiveness and speed. I'm just trying to improve on everything. I feel like I'm really coachable and eager to get better. It's all our family knows."
Yancy Porter is the recruiting analyst for the Ole Miss Spirit and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org