- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
The dominoes are already starting to fall. The big-name in-state stars of 2014 are making their college decisions.
But who’s going to win over Tony Brown? The ESPN Watch List cornerback from Beaumont (Texas) Ozen is one of the state’s uncommitted heavyweights. Here’s the latest on where his recruitment stands and how his junior season went.
HornsNation: How did this season end up going for you?
Brown: It went pretty good. I missed two games with an ankle injury, but I think it went really good.
HN: You knew there was a lot of hype on you going into this season. Do you feel like you delivered on your expectations?
Brown: I feel like I did. There was a lot of hype, and with the position I play, they could choose to not throw my way. I feel like I showed what I’ve got. Because I was on varsity since my freshman year, everyone knew who I was. There’s pressure in every game because of that.
HN: Did you spend most of the season at cornerback, or did you play safety and move around more?
Brown: It varied every game. In the games where there was a top-notch receiver I’d guard him. If they didn’t or if they were a run team, I’d play outside linebacker or inside or sometimes safety. I played really anything but D-lineman.
HN: Which schools or coaches showed you the most attention during your season?
Brown: Some coaches came to my games. Coach [Duane] Akina from Texas came and watched me play against Crosby. I hurt my shoulder a little bit but played the rest of the game with it, caused a fumble and tipped a pick to somebody else. He came to watch that game, and coach [Matt] Wallerstedt from Texas A&M came to another game.
HN: What did you think of Akina coming to the game? Pretty excited about that?
Brown: Yeah, I didn’t know he was coming. I was warming up and I saw coach Akina. It pumped me up knowing a college coach was watching me.
HN: What has it been like for you to watch some of the state's top 2014 prospects make their commitments?
Brown: It’s kind of funny knowing those guys and seeing them make up their mind and picking their brain about why they picked that school. They pick my brain about why I haven’t picked a school or where I’m going. A lot of them want to go to school with me. I guess I’m just a cool guy to be around. Like I tell them and I’ll tell you, I don’t want to rush into anything.
HN: Which of those committed recruits have been doing the most recruiting of you lately?
Brown: Chris Hardeman, he’s committed to LSU, he’s always talking to me about how good LSU is. Nick Harvey has been telling me how good A&M is. Guys are trying to get me to the point that they almost sound like coaches.
HN: What junior days have you targeted and where do you want to visit in the near future?
Brown: I think I’m going to go to Texas junior day. I’m going to the first one. It’ll be my first time going there and just chilling and not having a camp or worry about watching a game or anything like that. I’ll get to see all of Texas.
HN: Any other junior days you had in mind, like LSU or Texas A&M?
Brown: I’ll have to talk to my mom about that. I went to an LSU junior day last year and had a ball, but she’s not going to let me drive five hours by myself.
HN: You’ve said you don’t want to rush anything. Do you feel like this is a summer decision, or one that will come at an all-star game after your senior season?
Brown: I want to play in one of those games, most likely the Under Armour game. I really like that game. I like that game and I like Florida and I went to the Wide World of Sports Complex for Gridiron Kings. I want to play in that game. I’m hoping I’ll announce my decision at an All-American game on national TV, or right at the end of my senior season.
7dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough