February 16, 2009

Hardwood connection could impact Brown's choice

Memphis (Manassas), Tenn., offensive guard O.C. Brown wants to play college football in the Southeastern Conference when September 2010 rolls around.

And it looks like he'll get his chance, given the strong interest four SEC programs are showing already.

However, it's one of Brown's basketball teammates who's recruiting Brown the hardest these days, and that just might be good news for one of the early favorites in the race for the 6-foot-3, 315-pounder.

"Me and (Manassas forward/Ole Miss signee Reginald Buckner are real close friends," Brown said Sunday afternoon. " On the basketball court, he looks to get me shots. He knows he can score, so he wants to get me involved. He's telling me he wants me to come on to Ole Miss, so I'm thinking about it. I'm going to look into it."

In fact, Brown has already started looking into it. He made the 75-minute trip to Oxford on Jan. 31 for the Rebels' first junior day, and Brown liked what he saw and heard.

"It was a good junior day," Brown said. "They showed us around. They have a good coaching staff. It was just a good environment. I expected it would be great, but not as great as it was. I know Coach Houston Nutt said he was coming to get me."

Brown already has an offer from Southern Mississippi, while Ole Miss, Tennessee and LSU have shown strong interest and Alabama has begun to sniff around.

"I haven't been on visits to any of them yet, but they're planning junior days for me to come, them and Alabama," Brown said. "Ole Miss is sticking out right now. Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU and Alabama really stick out."

On the field, Brown is a road-grader. A forward on the basketball court, he's quick and agile on the gridiron as well. Brown said he wants to get stronger physically and refine his pass-blocking skills.

"I can be fast, but I have to get stronger and I have to get faster," Brown said. "I have to get in the weight room and I have to get my grades. I will have them by my senior year."

Brown said he intends to attend some football camps this summer, though nothing has been set in stone just yet. As for the decision that he'll make between now and early next February, Brown isn't in any hurry to make a commitment.

"I haven't really thought that far yet," Brown said.

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