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Posted Sep 16, 2011
There have been some pretty high expectations placed on the Long Beach, Miss., club with the return of defensive lineman Nick James and their leading tackler Richie Brown. Their star linebacker has not let them down.
"Things are going pretty well,"
added. "We are 2-0 and doing pretty good. I came down with this chest cold this week, but I have not missed any practices though. We beat Hancock 34-12 and Biloxi 39-34."
The Biloxi game was one of his career best.
"I had four touchdowns, 2 fumble recoveries and one for a 73 yard touchdown. I blocked a punt for a 80 yard touchdown. I also had 18 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 pass deflections and two touchdowns out of the Wildcat formation on offense. Against Hancock I had 18 tackles and one sack."
That's a mouthful just to spit out much less produce.
"I was just in that zone I guess. Coach (Terry) Price was there (for Ole Miss) so I guess you could say I was trying to show him a little something extra."
Richie has over 150 tackles the past two seasons and is looking to improve on those numbers and much more.
"I just react better in pass coverages now. My football knowledge has increased a lot. I have gotten stronger and bigger and that has helped my speed too (Richie ran a 4.5 flat on two different runs at the OM Elite Camp this summer). I am trying to average between 18 to 20 tackles a game, but that is not that big of a deal. I just want to send my team to state."
Last season Long Beach finished 9-1 in the regular season and lost a heartbreaker to Brookhaven by two points in the second round of the playoffs after missing a last second field goal.
"I just think we are playing better than last season. We have some young guys who played last year that are a little more mature now, but we still have our work cut out for us. We are handling things a little better as far as following our assignments. We still mess up some just not as much. We are working on correcting our mistakes though."
Richie and Long Beach face D' Iberville tonight and there will be a couple of scouts in attendance.
"USM and MSU are both coming today. Ole Miss came by last Friday. I spoke to coach Price from Ole Miss the day after he saw me play, and he told me that he had never seen a player dominate a game the way I did. He said it was pretty amazing. I guess I gave him a good show (laugh)."
The Rebels are not shy to let Brown know just how important he is to their class.
"They just are making sure that I know how they feel about me and communicating their interest with me. They make sure they stay in touch and Coach Price does a good job with that. Coach Nutt actually called me a few days ago. I get a good bit of calls from Coach Nutt actually. He was asking me when I was going to come see them play, and I told him I have not set up any visits yet but that I was definitely going to get up there for a game to see them play. He just wanted to let me know how he feels about me and what he expects of me and encouraged me to focus on my season and worry about the recruiting stuff after my season was over which I am going to do."
Ole Miss' depth issues at linebacker has not gone unnoticed for Scout.com's #68 rated outside linebacker.
"They are always telling me that there is early playing time opportunities there, and I have a good chance to start as a freshman if I do what I am supposed to do. I am getting that message from a lot of colleges though, but I know Ole Miss has had its issues at linebacker so that definitely is a big factor. Playing time is definitely something I am looking at right now."
Mississippi State committed his teammate,
, and were the first school to offer Brown.
"I am getting a lot of calls from them also. Pretty much all of the Mississippi schools and LSU and Purdue are recruiting me the hardest right now. But I tell all of them that I am not making a decision until after my season is over and they all respect that."
What stands out about MSU?
"I like a lot about MSU and a lot about the other colleges. They were one of the first people to see what I was capable of and the first school to see my talent but you can not blame the other colleges for waiting to offer me. Everybody had different circumstances so I do not want to make a decision just off of that. I do not want to make a decision when I am not ready, and right now I am definitely not ready."
LSU is the closest to proximity.
"They are also staying in good contact. I just got off of the phone with Coach Chavez (LSU) yesterday. Coach Price (OM) the day before that and MSU too. Purdue is calling tomorrow after my game and Kentucky called yesterday. I am getting a lot of calls and Vandy too."
Brown currently holds a dozen scholarships but is looking for more."
"I am going to put together a highlight tape from my senior season and send it out before my season is over and see if anyone is missing out. It is probably too late for that but it is no big deal."
What does Richie focus on when he watches the colleges play on Saturday's?
"I am working with one of my coaches really close, Coach Robby. We watch the games together and break everything down. He helps me every step of the way. He tells me about each defense, and we see how they coach they linebackers, and how I would fit into their scheme and young linebackers."
Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at email@example.com
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