Tony Brown, a five-star cornerback out of Ozen High School in Beaumont, Texas, has committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Brown, who is the ninth-best prospect in the class and the No. 1 player from the state of Texas, according to the 247 Sports composite ratings, was considered a heavy LSU lean for more than a year now, but he decided to go with the Tigers' rivals in Tuscaloosa, as have multiple other top recruits so far Thursday. This comes despite the facts that his sister runs track in Baton Rouge and Les Miles' staff was on him from very early on in his recruitment. A couple of other prominent schools, including Texas and USC, received visits, but in the end, the Tide came out on top.
Brown checks in at 6'0 and 190 pounds, giving him the size to contribute immediately at the college level. He possesses excellent speed and cover skills, and while he will need to work on his tackling a bit, he's as promising of a defensive prospect as there is in the 2014 class.
Here is part of SB Nation's scouting report on him:
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.
Brown's commitment to Alabama just means the rich gets richer. The Crimson Tide already had the nation's best class without the five-star corner, and his commitment gives Nick Saban his fourth five-star prospect for the current recruiting cycle.