Corey Brown doesn't come from a traditional region that produces blue-chip talent but that didn't stop the 6-foot, 186-pound Philadelphia athlete from becoming one of the nation's top recruits. Two weeks ago, Brown committed to Ohio State, adding yet another versatile player to a strong recruiting class for Coach Jim Tressel.
"Everything about Ohio State was perfect," said Brown. "I loved it -- the facilities, the stadium, the school. I knew it was right for me."
Drawing attention since his sophomore year, the Cardinal O'Hara (Springfield, Pa.) running back has been a playmaker in every meaning of the word. Despite an injury which knocked him out for much of last year, Brown's recruitment hasn't slowed down much. He received offers from elite programs, ranging from Alabama and Florida to Notre Dame.
Florida intrigued Brown for awhile as he says the defending national champions were among the hardest after him. What grabbed his attention the most wasn't the rabid fanbase at "The Swamp," the facilities or the football prestige in the tradition rich SEC. Rather, it was how the coaching staff wanted to use him.
Brown is a tweener, capable of being utilized in multiple positions -- both on offense and defense. He originally garnered headlines as a running back. At nearly every combine event he attended, he displayed good hands and the ability to get open in the flat. There was even talk about him playing on defense as a shut-down cornerback. Florida, however, had plans to use Brown in a hybrid position on offense.
According to Brown, Tressel agreed that his ability to line up in several areas -- as a running back or even in the slot -- was an asset. Brown went on to say that Tressel doesn't envision him in any one position. In fact Tressel's willing to flip the table. "I get to choose where I want to play," Brown said. "Right now, I am focusing on high school ball and what I need to do there."
Offense, defense -- it doesn't matter much to Brown.
After visiting Columbus for the USC game, Brown committed to Ohio State before going home. What clinched it for Brown was the response of the crowd during the 18-15 loss. Saying that he wanted to play in front of such passionate fans, he said, "[Columbus] is where I want to be. I'm home."
Connecticut linebacker Khairi Fortt is said to be closing in on a decision. Thought to be a Penn State lock a few weeks ago, Fortt told me he is feeling a lot of love from Georgia recently. The linebacker visited the Bulldogs last weekend. ... Is California's Ronald Powell a silent verbal to Florida? Word has it that he was recruiting on behalf of the Gators. ... Stanford has put together a good recruiting class and will get a visit from Keanu Nelson in late October. ... Jordan Hicks,one of the nation's top linebackers, will visit Texas on Oct. 10. ... Los Angeles' Anthony Barr, a consensus top 50 player, broke his ankle two weeks ago and is out for the season. Barr is being recruited by the likes of Michigan, USC and Notre Dame. ...TheLos Angeles Times is reporting that Malcom Jones is down to Stanford and UCLA. If there is a must read for recruiting on the West Coast, it is the Varsity Insider.
Man-child may be the only way to describe Kelvin Taylor, the freshman son of NFL star Fred Taylor. Last year as an eighth grader, Kelvin started for Glades Day in Belle Glade, Fla. That would be the varsity squad for the high school team, in a skill position no less. At 5-10 and 190 pounds, Taylor is already the talk of the class of 2013, and it's easy to see why.
Everyone knows the name Marcus Lattimore, the South Carolina native who can make a legitimate claim at being the nation's most complete running back. But the Palmetto State has another gem in Irmo's Mustafa Greene. Last weekend, he led his team to a 42-35 win over Summerville. Greene carried 42 times for 278 yards and four touchdowns. Last week, he had 173 yards on 23 carries and scored three touchdowns. In addition, Greene had a 59 yard punt return for a score in a 49-15 win over Spring Valley.