Saturday, October 01, 2005

Safety Dance: Extended Remix edition | by Pat

Number 18 is in the books with the recent committment of Sergio Brown to the Fighting Irish.

The 6'2" 193lb safety from Illinois is the fourth defensive back to commit to the Irish and is another sign that Coach Weis' plan to re-establish Notre Dame's recruiting presence in the Midwest is working. 12 of the 18 recruits could be considered to be from the "driving distance Midwest" that Weis talked about in one of his first press conferences.

The backstory on Brown is textbook "flying under the radar" stuff. It seems that early on, his lack of recruitment could be attributed to a perfect storm of playing on a lackluster team, coaching turnover, and the always dangerous clerical error.

Brown was caught in a vacuum when Proviso East coach Bo Flowers was fired after his team finished 2-7 last season. Then college recruiters were turned off when a biography on Brown noted his 40- yard dash time was 4.8 seconds. But it didn't note that the time was recorded as a freshman.

In November, we began to wonder why no colleges were calling about Sergio," said Aaron Peppers, Proviso East's new coach. He was the West Suburban Conference's defensive player of the year. He was Proviso East's MVP. He returned five interceptions for touchdowns."

When Brown wasn't attracting any attention, Peppers and friend Shadeed Hadee put together a highlight tape and sent copies to Illinois, Northwestern and Nike. Almost overnight, he received scholarship offers from Illinois and NU, and Nike invited him to the Michigan combine.
On top of that, an old article that isn't available online anymore noted that Brown used to wear two different numbers his junior year. #13 on the road, #7 at home. But in the roster guide he was only listed as #7 so people who wanted to know who #13 was during away games weren't able to find out. That had to hurt his early recruiting somewhat.

Of course, all of that is over now that Brown is a Notre Dame verbal, so the question is, just what will he bring to the Irish team? Currently Brown plays both safety and wide receiver so perhaps there is a chance that the 6'2" athlete might see some time on the offensive side of the ball. Other insights into his athletic ability include the fact he qualified for the state track meet for long jump and plays on the East Provisio High School basketball team. Former East Provisio high teammates of Brown include Dee Brown (Illinois) and Shannon Brown (Michigan State).

Once Brown gets to Notre Dame and receives an upgrade in coaching (just looking at the way he's holding the football in the above picture here folks), it's possible that Brown could really develop into a quality contributor early for the Irish. Of course, he has to get to Notre Dame first. After choosing the Irish over schools like Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois, and UCLA, Brown has mentioned that he still plans on taking other recruiting visits. Usually in a situation like this it's one of two things. Either recruit gives a verbal to one of his finalists in an effort to save his spot so to speak, or he continues the visits because, let's face it, free trips around the country to be wined and dined aren't an every day occurrence. I'm leaning towards thinking it's perhaps a mix of both with Brown, but I really would be surprised, even if he did take a trip or two to other schools, if he ended up anywhere other than Notre Dame.