Chad Simmons

Verbal View: Examining the Fit and Strengths of West Virginia Commit Eugene Brown

Hard-hitting Eugene Brown hopes to follow in the footsteps of some other Mountaineers defenders when he makes the move to WVU next year. We examine the tape and break down the strengths of West Virginia's most recent football verbal commitment.


First, it's the hitting. It's what Brown loves, and it's something that defensive coordinator Tony Gibson thrives on. Brown's aggressiveness is evident in video of his play, and he's always looking to move forward to get involved in the action. That's not the limit of his skillset, however. He is a good pass defender who reads coverages well, and gets jumps on the ball by employing what he sees before the snap.

"I read the linemen and figure it out," Brown explained to "I can read the quarterback's steps and figure out what kind of pass it is, and I can look at the offensive linemen and figure out kind of play is coming."

Brown also has a versatile use background, having played both strong and free safety positions in high school. He also moves down and plays outside linebacker against teams who are weighted more heavily with running games, which allows him to bring his physical play to bear more frequently. While he's likely slated to be a spur or bandit at West Virginia, that experience and ability to play against both the run and the pass gives him a solid base upon which to build. The fact that he's lined up as an outside linebacker also gives him experience at the view from which the spur and bandit work, which again will help his comfort level.

Standing six feet, one inch and checking in at 190 pounds, Brown puts everything he has into his hits and tackles, and has the all-out mentality of play that could make him an excellent member on the second level of the Mountaineer defense.


Like many prep players who are big hitters, Brown can get caught up going forward too quickly at times. That was something that Karl Joseph, who Brown patterns his game after, battled against early in his career. Brown will probably have to go through the same learning process, but that's likely just a matter of repetition and film study. Putting the reins on just a bit is far more desirable than having to instill aggressiveness, though, so this shouldn't be a huge issue as his career progresses.

Brown's attraction to WVU goes back to Tavon Austin, whom he watched while growing up, but Joseph and K.J. Dillon became his role models. Does he try to play too much like them, and not enough like Eugene Brown? Admittedly, getting inside the head of a player is dicey at best, but it's something to keep an eye out for. Brown has plenty of ability in his own right, and must focus on being the best Eugene Brown he can be.  However, there's no doubting the impact that Joseph and Dillon had on his commitment -- right up front he said that watching them play, and seeing his own game reflected there, was one of tthe biggest reasons he chose West Virginia.


WVU has pushed hard into the Atlanta Metro area and Georgia in its recruiting efforts this year, and Brown is the first return on that investment. Brown said assistant coach Danny "Blue" Adams was also instrumental in his commitment.

"Coach Adams and I have a great relationship, and he said he is really excited to see me in this defense," Brown noted. "He said they have the type of defense I fit perfectly in, and I think so too."

Could Brown be the trendsetter for more commitments from the Peach State? If the number of offers and interest levels being shown by recruits from that area are any judge, it won't be a surprise to see the Class of 2017 include more players from that region.

Brown is the second defensive back to commit in the class, and provides a nice four-year option to balance out juco commitment Alex Woods , who has two years in which to complete his final two seasons of eligibility. West Virginia brought in a large number of defensive backs in the class of 2016, but with some junior college members among that group, it wouldn't be hard to see Brown competing for playing time early in his career.

West Virginia 2017 Football Commitment List

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