Thomas Brown is one of the 13 2012 prospects that will be taking an official visit to SMU this weekend. Six of those visitors have solid commitments to the Mustangs, but seven are in limbo. Brown is a part of the latter category.
Brown, a three-star middle linebacker from Serra High School (Gardena, Calif.), has never been to SMU's campus and is looking forward to his visit.
"I don't know too much about the university, but hopefully I'll find some things that really stand out to me while I'm there," Brown said.
Brown has narrowed down his college choices to SMU and Nebraska. He took in the Nebraska-Northwestern game last month and got to experience the Huskers game day atmosphere firsthand.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, Brown won't be able to see a SMU game, although redshirt freshman Conner Preston a Serra graduate, has told Brown that SMU has a "great atmosphere, is a great school and a cool place to be."
Brown isn't concerned about not seeing a game, though.
"It's something I wish I could have seen, but there are other things that are more important," he said.
Academics being one. Brown said his education is at the top of the list when asked what characteristics are most important when looking at a school.
"I need a place with good academics, a place that will help me get a degree so I have something to fall back on just in case football falls through," Brown said.
He also mentioned that having a "town that supports the football team and coaches that will push you to the limit" will be factors in his commitment decision.
Brown said that playing for a program on the rise like SMU versus one that's already nationally established like Nebraska doesn't make a difference to him. He just wants to see what school overall would be the best fit.
Two of Brown's Serra teammates – Kache Palacio and Raymond Ford – along with six other (a total of nine) players from California will be making the official visit this weekend, too. Ford recently de-committed from UCLA and is expected to commit to SMU.
The California commits could play an integral role in getting Brown to become a Mustang, as he said the opportunity to play with them in college could impact his decision.
"It probably will a little bit," Brown said. "There are a few of my teammates I would like to play with again."
Another reason Brown could commit to SMU is because of his recruiter, Mustangs' offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Adrian Klemm. Brown said of Klemm: "He's a great coach and keeps it honest with you…I really like that about him."
Brown hopes that he'll get to play as a true freshman and says his greatest strength on the field is he's a "downhill player, plays fast and is very physical."
This weekend is crucial for SMU and Brown, who hasn't met any of the coaching staff except for Klemm.
"I will meet them this weekend," Brown said. "I'm just looking to interact with the players and see where I stand."
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