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Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Watch List CB Brown puts recruiting aside

By Max Olson

Forgive Tony Brown if he doesn’t care much about his recruiting process right now. He’s too busy working to break track records.

The ESPN Watch List cornerback from Beaumont (Texas) Ozen just ran the fastest time in the nation among high school athletes in the 60-meter hurdles. He’s off to New York this weekend for his final indoor track meet of the season.

So, naturally, Brown isn’t wasting much time worrying about what comes next in his recruitment.

Tony Brown
ESPN Watch List cornerback Tony Brown insists he has no favorite school right now.
“I’m just focused on track,” he said. “I haven’t thought about that stuff a lot.”

That focus is paying off. Brown’s dash of 7.76 seconds at last month’s Simplot Games in Idaho puts him atop the national charts in the 60-meter hurdles. He’ll compete at the New Balance Nationals Indoor meet with the hopes of besting that.

Next up after that meet is outdoor track. Brown is serious about the sport, so much so that he’s planning to graduate from Ozen in December and would like to participate in both football and track in his first semester in college.

“I love track,” he said. “Track was my first love and then football came in. It’s always cool to go back to track.”

While Brown found time to take junior day trips in February to Texas and Alabama, he can’t envision ending his recruitment before his senior football season. More likely, he’ll make a decision in December or early January, right before he enrolls.

Most assume LSU still has the edge in this race, but Brown wants to set the record straight: Nobody is in the lead, and it’s going to be a while before he trims down his list.

“It’s still really up in the air,” Brown said. “Like, if I had to, I couldn’t decide today.”

The case for why the Tigers appear to be No. 1 right now is obvious: His sister, Bealoved, is going to LSU to run track, and close friend Edward Paris (Arlington, Texas/Timberview) gave his pledge last week.

Brown and Paris have grown close from their time playing on their “Goon Squad” 7-on-7 football team, but Brown was one of the few who knew Paris’ mind was made up all along.

“He told me he was going to do that, so it wasn’t a surprise for me,” Brown said. “I knew he was going to go there. He’s an LSU boy. He always has been recruiting me, but I’ve always known and he’s always known he’s going to LSU.”

And as happy as Brown was for his sister, he insisted her college choice isn’t not a big a deciding factor as most make it out to be.

“People blow it out of proportion when they say because she’s going there I’m going to go there,” Brown said. “That would be cool for us to go to the same school as two star athletes. That would be cool if I went there with her. But that wouldn’t be the only factor if I did end up going to LSU.”

Texas, Texas A&M and Alabama have long been in the mix, but Brown said he’d like to take official visits in the fall to out-of-state programs before he starts thinking about a commitment.

“I definitely want to go out of state and see some schools: Florida State, Florida, Ohio State, Stanford, USC, and there’s some more I cant think of right now,” Brown said.

Brown said he’ll likely attend Texas’ spring game this month, as it’s the same day as the Texas Relays, which are held in Austin. The Longhorns are still high on Brown’s list, but he’s careful to not single out any schools or recruiters he likes.

He’s taking this process slow, even if his deadline gets bumped up by his hopes to enroll early. Brown has been taking senior classes early and has always wanted to get into college ball as soon as possible.

“My thinking was, I know I’m going to go in and start wherever I go, so that would just help me out if I go in the spring,” Brown said.

He’s not being cocky. Just honest. Brown knows some recruiting services are already calling him a five-star prospect. He’s not interested in that label. He’s focused on being the top-ranked defensive back in the nation. He wants to be in the running for the No. 1 overall spot.

Whenever he does make his commitment this year, Brown knows this: He won’t second-guess it. He’s got big plans and no time to look back.

“Whatever decision I make is not going to be a stressful decision,” he said. “It’s going to be a decision I’m happy with. I won’t let that woulda, shoulda, coulda make it something else.”