Arguably the best high school prospect in the state of Texas is spreading his wings, as 5-star cornerback Tony Brown officially committed to Alabama.
Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports provides details:
Like all Class of 2014 recruits, Brown's commitment is only verbal. He can change his mind at any time between now and the beginning of the national signing period without penalty.
Still, after nearly every major program in the country expressed interest, it's hard to see anyone swaying him from Alabama at this juncture.
Brown is considered the ninth-best prospect overall and third-best cornerback in the Class of 2014 by 247Sports' composite rankings. The Ozen High School standout received over 20 scholarship offers before giving official visits to LSU, USC, Texas, Alabama and Ohio State.
From almost the beginning of the process, it felt like Brown was predisposed to becoming a Tiger despite his Texas upbringing. By the time December rolled around, 247Sports' Crystal Ball indicated that he was 100 percent locked into coming to Baton Rouge.
And it's not hard to see why.
Since taking over the Tigers post, Les Miles has developed a reputation of developing elite defensive back talent. Morris Claiborne and Patrick Peterson both parlayed their time under Miles into being first-round draft choices, and it's possible Tyrann Mathieu would have done the same had it not been for off-the-field issues. Alabama, Texas and Ohio State aren't exactly bereft of NFL-worthy talent, but LSU's recent track record speaks for itself.
Nevertheless, a late push from Alabama wound up swaying Brown enough to change the entire process.
The Crimson Tide get a player who could step in from the moment he arrives. Listed at 6'0" and 188 pounds, Brown has a ready-built body and enough speed to atone for mistakes caused by inexperience. While not an official time, multiple recruiting sites, including 247Sports, list his 40-yard dash time at 4.35—among the quickest in the entire nation.
He's also already a very good cover corner and able to move around the defense depending on the situation. Watching Brown's highlight reels, his ability to make big plays stands out most of all. High school quarterbacks just weren't able to account for his closing speed, leading to interceptions and last-minute breakups.
Brown was a 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection. He's also a talented track and field athlete, specifically, an elite-level hurdler who could have had a career in the sport if it weren't for football.
His tackling could use some improvement, which may be the top factor preventing him from getting extensive playing time as a freshman. But no matter what happens in 2014, Brown should be a staple defensively sooner rather than later.
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