The Annual Under Armour All-America Game has become the premiere showcase for high school football seniors. It has also become a platform for some of these young men to announce the name of the lucky football program that will get their signature on National Signing Day (Feb. 5).
It can be encouraging to a team when you get a young athlete with as much talent as Brown has. It is a bonus when he comes from a caring loving family who raised him the right way. The Brown family has had some tragedy but have overcome it with love, faith, and perseverance.
If you were not able to watch the game, you can see Brown's announcement with his family here. His young niece in the houndstooth jacket was probably a giveaway.
If that is not enough to make you love this guy, he has world-class speed representing the United States in the Men's 110m Hurdles at the 2013 Jr. Pan-Am Games finishing second. He has been clocked at 4.35 in the 40. His parents are former star athletes at Texas Tech and his sister Beloved Brown runs track for LSU.
AND... he has a 3.7 GPA.
But back to Brown as a football player.
Brown excels at everything in a defensive backfield. Man coverage, zone coverage, and run support are all strong suits. This gives him great versatility but cornerback is probably the best fit for him. Some observers compare him the Kansas City Chiefs' Eric Berry.
Brown is the top recruit out of the Lone Star state and chose Bama over LSU. He is eligible for early enrollment.
He is the 25th commitment to Alabama but only the 24th to count against the Class of 2014. Per NCAA rules, Juco transfer D.J. Pettway will not count against the 25 scholarship limit for the year since he signed with Alabama in 2011 and re-signed last month.
Laurence Jones. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Nick Saban got another piece of good news when 4-star safety Laurence "Hootie" Jones re-committed to the Tide. He briefly de-committed in December so that he could think things over but confirmed with reporters at the Under Armour Game that he was back on board.
One cannot help but think that the time he spent this week with - count 'em - eleven other Alabama UA All-convinced him that Tuscaloosa was the place for him. Including Brown and Jones, thirteen members of the Bama Class of 2014 participated in the All-Star event:
CB Tony Brown (6-0/188)
OL Joshua Casher (6-1/300) Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul's
S Ronnie Clark (6-3/210) Calera (Ala.)
QB David Cornwell (6-5/235) Norman (Okla.) Norman North
DE Da'Shawn Hand (6-4/248) Woodbridge (Va.)
OC J.C. Hassenauer (6-3/295) Woodbury (Minn.) East Ridge
S Laurence Jones (6-2/220)
LB Christian Miller (6-4/215) Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley
OG Ross Pierschbacher (6-4/269) Cedar Falls (Iowa)
OT Cameron Robinson (6-6/325) West Monroe (La.)
WR Bo Scarbrough (6-2/215) Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
WR Cameron Sims (6-4/190) Monroe (La.) Ouachita Parish
DT O.J. Smith (6-2/330) Bossier City (La.)
Jones is eligible for early enrollment along with fellow Monroe, Louisiana natives Cameron Robinson and Cameron Sims.
As expected, the #1 running back in the nation, Leonard Fournette, chose to stay home and attend LSU. Credit the Alabama staff for they did not make it an easy choice.
Wide receiver Travis Rudolph told all the Alabama coaches that he was planning on announcing for the Crimson Tide at the UA AA game but surprised everyone by picking FSU. This was not a last-minute change-of-heart. Rudolph flat out lied to everyone just so he could have a little fun and garner attention. Mr. Rudolph, be expecting a visitor by the name of Karma in your future.
Cornerback Jalen Tabor has decided to take his talents to... Arizona? The Wildcats already have a commitment from one of Tabor's BFF teammates, 5-foot 8-inch 3-star RB Jonathan Haden who is unranked nationally or at his position. That is some mighty good decision-making there, Jalen.