May 10, 2011

Mississippi linebacker has busy summer planned

Richie Brown has a busy weekend ahead of him.

It's but a precursor for what lies ahead this summer.

The standout linebacker from Long Beach, Miss., will participate in the state track meet _ he's part of Long Beach's relay teams _ on Friday before strapping on the pads Saturday for a spring scrimmage against Mobile, Ala.-based Murphy High School.

This summer, the 6-foot-2, 218-pound Brown plans to check out several of his college suitors as well as participate in a couple of camps in hopes of expanding his offer list.

Mississippi State, Stanford, Memphis, Southern Mississippi and Arkansas State have extended offers to Brown, though he maintained earlier this week that he is "completely neutral still," adding that he won't begin naming favorites until after he completes some official visits. Brown said he won't pick a college home until December, at the earliest.

That should give some others schools _ Ole Miss, LSU, Tennessee, Alabama and Auburn, to name a few _ a chance to further evaluate the hard-hitting linebacker.

"A few of them are holding off," Brown said. "A lot I've been talking to just want me to come down so they can meet me."

Brown said he plans to visit Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, LSU and Tennessee this summer. He said he will "probably" check out Arkansas State, Auburn and Alabama and "possibly" Nebraska, Stanford and Miami.

"It's kind of going how I thought it would," Brown said. "A lot of schools have come down to visit. About 15 are coming this week. They're all showing pretty heavy interest."

Brown said his decision will be based on "the school, the coaches and the atmosphere," adding that he didn't grow up with a favorite school.

"The schools that are coming out early and are recognizing my talent and making me a high priority, that means a lot," Brown said. "It's still pretty early in the recruiting process. …It's really going to come down to playing time, how well I fit into their program, how I feel I'll succeed there, if I feel comfortable. Those things play into it."

Ole Miss defensive line coach Terry Price recruits the Gulf Coast region for the Rebels, and he was in Long Beach last week.

"He wants me to come for the elite camp (next month in Oxford)," Brown said. "I'll probably do that. …They act like they've already offered me, but they haven't. I guess I'll go to the elite camp and show them how much my stats have improved. I'm not sure what they're waiting on."

An offer from the Rebels, Brown said, "would mean a lot. They were one of the first schools I went to. It would mean something, definitely."

In the meantime, Brown is focusing on improving his game in advance of his senior season.

"I want to make sure I stay more focused this summer, working harder than I have before," Brown said. "I'm not really worried about my weight, but I want to get my speed and strength up. It's really a speed game now."

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