Arthur Brown, the superior 6-foot-1, 225-pound linebacker from East High School in Wichita, Kan., says he has approximately 30 scholarship offers, but has not begun to narrow down his choices.
“I feel really blessed,” Brown said. “I haven’t even thought where to begin, actually. I just want to do the right thing. I never thought I’d ever be in this position and it’s an honor to be wanted by so many outstanding programs.”
Some of the outstanding programs in the hunt for the star defender include Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC, Rutgers, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Nebraska, Georgia, Colorado, Washington, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Vanderbilt, UCLA, Clemson, Purdue, Iowa, Iowa State, Miami, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, New Mexico State, Kansas State and Alabama.
“I know I have a few more but I can’t remember who they are right now,” he said. “I got my first offer from Kansas State in the last part of September or the first part of October and it’s been non-stop since then.
“I thought I’d get some attention, but I never expected it being like this and coming this fast. I'm trying to take it all in stride and take it slowly. Sometimes when I sit down and look at all these offers from all these great schools, it gets a bit overwhelming. And I know it’s just going to get worse down the line."
Brown says he and his family are going to try to take as many unofficials (visits) as they can this summer. “We’re trying to raise some money right now to take visits to as many schools as possible. It’s pretty expensive to travel around the country looking at colleges though.
“My plan is to narrow down the field to, hopefully, five, after my visits this summer," Brown said. "Then, from there take officials to those five and pick from there. Distance isn’t a big deal to me so I’m looking everywhere.
“I do really like Oklahoma,” he admitted. “I will say they’ll definitely be on my favorites list, in my top five for sure. It’s about two hours from my house, so I know it pretty well already. OU is one of the great programs and has such a great tradition. Coach (Brent) Venables and I talk a lot. He is a great coach and has a great vision for the team. We are really on the same page. I know exactly where he’s coming from.”
Brown plans on graduating early so he wants to commit as early as he can. “I’m not going to rush it, but since I am graduating early, I don’t have a time deadline. Basically, I want to get to school early and get adjusted to college life before the season rolls around…get a jump on my classes and have an edge on everybody else.
“USC just recently contacted me,” Brown said. “I called Coach (Pete) Carroll about two weeks ago and he told me he watched my highlight tape and was very impressed. Then he told me I had an offer and I’d be getting a written one in the mail soon. It was great, especially coming straight from Pete Carroll. I’m going to try to get out there, but I’m not sure when.
“My main thing I’m going to look for in a school is who else they are bringing in, who else they’ve recruited. Great athletes want to be surrounded by other great athletes. I want to know the guys that are around me are as driven to the same degree of excellence as I am.
“The comfort level with the players and coaches is another thing," he said. "I want to make sure I’ll like the coaches in two years and that they’ll like me. There’s nothing worse that playing somewhere you’re not happy at. I like coaches that are honest and straight-forward and give it to me how it is. It’s so easy to tell when a coach is blowing smoke."
Brown, who finished his junior season with 158 tackles, 10 sacks and one interception, said that depth is not a big factor for him. “I don’t really care about that. It’s really the same everywhere. As a freshman, you have to come in and compete anywhere you go and whoever does the best gets the job.
“I’d planned to go to Florida for a camp in April and visit Florida, Florida State and Miami while I was down there, but I just found out that’s the same weekend as I’m taking the ACT (April 14), so I’m not going to be able to make it." Brown also reports a 3.14 core GPA.
“I think I’d prefer a college town environment over a big city," he said. "I live in a tight-knit community and I think I’d like that in college.”
Brown said he knows he has a lot to do in the next few months and he’s welcoming it all. “I can’t complain. This is a great time. It’s also a great experience for my brother (Bryce Brown, running back, 6-2, 205, 4.4) who’s going to go through all of this next year. He’s getting twice the experience, which will definitely help him.
“My reaction time, speed and strength are my strong points,” said Brown, who claims to bench 315 pounds, squat 455 and power clean 235. He ran a 4.47 forty at an Oklahoma camp. “The game of football is all about speed. When I get on the field, I know where every guy is and I know what has to be done and I get it done. I study the game. The more you know, the more of an edge you have.
“In college, speed is everything. I’m fast, but I want to be faster, so I work on my speed everyday. I’m trying to improve reading the blocking a bit faster too. I’m a perfectionist, so I challenge myself all the time. I have to push myself in every way to rise to the challenge of college ball, but I know what I have to do and I’m ready for it.”