Recruit Name: Tony Brown
High School & hometown: Beaumont (Texas) Ozen High School
Position: Brown is currently being recruited as a cornerback, although he does have the versatility to play safety.
Height and weight: Brown stands at 6'0 and weighs 185 pounds.
Ratings by the four major services: 13th-best national recruit in Rivals; 15th-best national recruit in 247Sports, second-best cornerback; top-ranked cornerback in Scout; currently placed on the ESPN Watchlist.
Offers: Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC are among the host of schools that have already offered Brown.
Twitter account: @JustDoIt_TB
Video highlights: Junior highlights via Hudl
Tony Brown is one of the top cornerback prospects in the 2014 recruiting class. Brown figures to be one of the biggest recruiting prizes this season, and his recruitment will be one of the biggest stories this season.
Brown is pretty firm in holding his ground against wide receivers and making it difficult to get to their spots on the field. Brown has the ability to play multiple positions in the secondary. He usually spends most of his time as a cornerback, where he locks things down. His current dimensions lend themselves well to being a tough defender against wide receivers in one-on-one matchups while also ensuring that he can play solid in run support.
However, Brown is versatile enough to play elsewhere in the secondary if needed. Brown also can line up as a safety, plugging up the exterior. Brown is good at recognizing the running lane, taking good angles to the ball-carrier and ensuring they don't bounce to the outside on him. Brown establishes contain and ensures that he funnels his man back into the help defense and limits big gains. Brown has proven he can handle that responsibility at safety. While Brown doesn't have elite safety measurements, he can definitely play back there if his team needs him there.SB Nation Recruiting analyst Wescott Eberts:
The consensus five-star prospect is in the mix as the best player in the state of Texas. Physically, Brown already looks like an NFL cornerback at 185 chiseled pounds, which also means that he doesn't appear to need to add strength in college before he can contribute, in terms of how he looks off the field or how he plays on the field.
And speed? Yeah, Brown has plenty of that, too. His older sister is a track star who will run at LSU and for his own part, he's tied for the best time in the country in the 60m hurdles.
Despite Brown's clear willingness to be physical, he needs to improve with his tackling form. At times, Brown doesn't wrap up opposing ballcarriers, sometimes delivering hits that are otherwise picture-perfect with the exception of the final wrap up. As a result, Brown can miss some tackles after striking well, but not finishing. On other plays, Brown wraps up, but ends up dragging opponents down when he can't square them up initially.
Since the Ozen star did play mostly at safety as a junior, he has some experience working around the line of scrimmage and has a better understanding for how to take on and defeat blocks than most college cornerbacks, which gives Brown a serious advantage there and could allow him to get on the field early in college at safety if the cornerback rotation is crowded at the school of his choice.
On one play, Brown defeats an edge blocker, stands up his opponent at the line of scrimmage, then rips the ball free, an impressive feat for a defensive end, much less a projected cornerback.
In coverage, there's virtually nothing on Brown's junior film of his work at cornerback in coverage, though he has put enough on film at both camps and during his sophomore year to suggest that he could be an excellent boundary corner capable of using his strength to re-direct bigger receivers or use his willingness to tackle and take on blockers to excel as a nickel corner in college.
So although Brown could play some safety in college, he has the prototypical size, build, and speed to play cornerback. In fact, if a defensive coach could go into a lab and create the perfect cornerback, that player would come out looking a lot like Tony Brown.
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