Starkville native will play both football and baseball at Ole Miss

A.J. Brown out of Starkville, Miss., sent shock waves around the country when he inked with the Rebels on signing day. Now he's looking forward to the next chapter in his life.

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"Today was my last day of class here at Starkville," Brown said. "I was talking to my father about it today. Now I'm ready to prove my worth at Ole Miss. I know there is a lot of hype and expectations placed on me. Now I just have to go out there and show everybody what I'm made of."

Part of that hype comes from leading to his team to a 6A State Championship while amassing 83 catches for 1,387 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.

"I talk to Tread (Laquon Treadwell) a lot about what will be expected of me. I don't really like it when people compare us two but it's cool. I know a lot of people will be expecting me to live up to his production there at Ole Miss but what if I don't? That would be bad, but at the same time don't think I'm not going in there not trying to break all of his records at Ole Miss."

Treadwell has given him advise on how to achieve those goals.

"He just tells me to stay focused and don't let the outsiders come between me and my work ethic. I'm going to have a lot of haters out there tracking every move I make with me being from Starkville and going to Ole Miss. Tread just tells me about the time regiments I'll have in college and how to manage that time. The biggest thing he always tells me is to work my butt off if I want to break his records. The best piece advise he has given me is about what to expect when two-a-days roll around. He tells me to just go out there and compete every snap like it is a game and don't worry about who is going to start. Just compete everyday and let it play out."


Brown brings a unique skill set to the table, and whether he likes it or not, they are comparable to Treadwell.

"My size and strength allows me to be more physical than anyone I go up against. I can catch the ball in traffic and make tough catches. I have really strong hands. Just being a competitor at the highest level. I love to lay out defenders while blocking too. Truthfully, I get more pleasure out of pancaking someone that anything else. I just love going up against the best defensive backs in the country. It raises my level of play. I just like to compete."

The freshman goals at Ole Miss are simple.

"I want to be a Freshman All-American, period. I want to have a breakout game against Florida State. I especially want to have one against Mississippi State. I want at least four touchdowns against them. It's personal."

While some fans were surprised that a Starkville star would attend Ole Miss, A.J. knew it was his home the whole time.

"Oh, I pretty much knew where I was going from the start. People don't understand. If you visit Ole Miss you don't a choice but to like it. Man, it's just so fresh at Ole Miss. There's nothing not to like about Ole Miss, to be honest. I just loved their coaches and players. They always made me feel the most at home."

This offseason was spent on the diamond.

"We finished our season like two weeks ago. Tupelo beat us in the second round. I was hitting around .360 when the playoffs started.

Brown plays centerfield and brings a unique skill set to the table.

"I have a lot of power and I'm good at running down fly balls. I have a really strong arm and get people out trying to advance. My bat isn't bad either. I can pepper it around pretty good."

While A.J. hasn't spoken to the Ole Miss baseball coaches in a while; he still plans on playing both sports at Ole Miss.

"That's my plan. I haven't talked to coach Bianco in a while about it, but that was the plan the last time we spoke. I definitely want to play both sports at Ole Miss but football is always going to be priority number one with me."

Brown also made a bit of history, becoming the second athlete to play in both the Under Armour All-America game for football and baseball. A.J. is currently 6-foot-2, 215 and said the staff wants him to report in at 210. He will report to Ole Miss on May 30th.


Yancy Porter is the recruiting analyst for the Ole Miss Spirit and he can be reached at yporter@scout.com


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