|School:||Bishop Mcnamara HS, Forestville, MD|
Justin Brown focused on basketball and didn't play high school football as either a sophomore or junior so he entered his senior season as a complete unknown to college recruiters. So what happened during his senior season to attract attention?
Justin told us, "I played my freshman year but didn't play again until my senior year. I came in one game into it (the season) but it took me two games to really get into the rotation. I had 9 sacks, 65 tackles and 3 caused fumbles."
Justin was a starter at both DE and TE, but is being recruited only for defense. Justin and his father got the attention of major colleges by sending out tapes.
"First, we sent out some tapes midway through the season. Then after the season we sent out more tapes and highlight tapes."
The tapes must have made for interesting viewing as Justin did begin receiving interest. How many offers did he get and from whom?
"Five. Kent State, the University of Connecticut, Boston College, Penn State and Notre Dame."
Has he taken any visits yet?
"I took two. One to Kent State and one to Boston College. I went to UVa on an unofficial visit. They never really showed much interest."
Justin told us he has upcoming visits scheduled for Notre Dame on January 16 and Penn State on January 23. How about a 5th visit?
"I'm not sure yet. There's still some schools contacting me real late because I sent stuff out kind of late. If no one else calls I'm probably not going to take that 5th visit. Florida called maybe 2 weeks ago and we sent them a tape. Waiting to hear back from them. Michigan, I talked to them a month ago but they never really called back. So I'm not sure if they lost interest or not. That's it right now."
Do you have a favorite?
"My favorites are Notre Dame and Penn State but I'm still interested in Boston College and UConn. I think I'm going to wait until I take my Notre Dame and Penn State visits to make my decision."
Although he is being recruited primarily as a DE in high school, there would seem to be some question as to whether he has the size to play that position in college.
"Penn State and Notre Dame are waiting to see how my body develops to see I if will play linebacker. They said I have the athleticism to play the outside linebacker position if my body didn't develop into a defensive end-type body."
Penn State was one of the colleges that received tape from Justin and his father. Coach Larry Johnson has been in contact with Brown for Penn State since about two weeks before Christmas.
"I've met with Coach Larry Johnson in person. He met me at school first and then at home. He said he was very interested and talked to us about Penn State and about how the football program was and what type of situation they where in with their defensive line and how he thought I could help them. He said at first they were done recruiting, but he lost two seniors to injuries because they didn't want to play anymore and risk long-term injuries, so they wanted to recruit another defensive end. They like my athleticism and my speed and the fact that I've really only played one year of varsity football so I still have a lot to learn. He said that's kind of an upside for me."
Justin continued, "I talked to Joe Paterno on the phone. He talked to me about Penn State and how he thought I could help them. He said he was excited about how athletic I was and said he was trying to get some guys in with the mentality to win."
What does Justin like about his favorites?
"I know they're both good football tradition schools. Notre Dame is a great academic school to go to. They're just two great institutions that I can see myself playing at. You see a long line of football players come from Penn State and you have Joe Paterno there. So it really has me interested and I'm kind of excited about it."