2011 Recruiting: Greg Brown Comment Count

Brian April 27th, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Previously: none this year, but this is an annual series. Check out last year's.

Fremont, OH - 5'10" 180


Scout 3*, #50 CB
Rivals 3*, NR, #54 OH
ESPN 3*, 77, #35 CB
Others NR
Other Suitors Michigan State
YMRMFSPA Grant Mason
Previously On MGoBlog Commitment post. FNL video and scouting.
Notes Early enrollee. Same HS as one Charles Woodson.


(Brown stuff at the two minute mark.) Scouting Ohio has junior film.

Greg Brown committed to Michigan a long, long time ago. This site's "Hello" post dates back to September of 2009, mere days after new Hurricane Tate Forcier had made his debut at Michigan. At the time we had little to go on except Jim Stefani's comprehensive database ("very quick, speedy, athletic, great body control, fine ball skills and has fluid hips… impressive at the 2008 Michigan summer camp and was rated by some onlookers as the second best CB at the camp as a mere freshman") and some message board post wherein Brown is declared Fremont's "next big professional athlete" by someone who is probably not an NFL scout. The mere fact he had a committable Michigan offer—and reported another one from Michigan State—before his junior year even started was the most powerful evidence we had at the time that he was going to be some variety of Big Time.

It didn't really work out like that. He never even looked like emerging from the Pit of Generic Three Stars, spent most of his senior year playing linebacker, and seemed like yet another questionable move by Rich Rodriguez when it came to defensive recruiting. Rivals doesn't even bother to rank him outside of "you'll get three stars and like it." When he had a brief flirtation with Syracuse at the tail end of 2010 that seemed like a development that would inevitably lead to Brown and Michigan parting ways like various other "whoops, you committed" players(e.g., Dewayne Peace, Jordan Barnes) had under Rodriguez.

He stuck, though, and was the only member of this recruiting class to enroll early. No one expected much from him, but there he was in the spring game…

…giving up a touchdown, sure. But giving up a touchdown that seemed like offensive pass interference after being close enough to be shoved by the wide receiver. I don't have to remind Michigan fans about what happened last year and how being in the same timezone as a wide receiver is an improvement.

This would be a hilarious reach but for Brown getting consistent praise in the spring. It's still a bit of a stretch but three things make a trend, right? (1) Hoke after spring:

"He has improved every week," Hoke said of Brown, from Fremont (Ohio) Ross. "I think he's got a great future. Sometimes when there's an opportunity and a guy comes in there and competes, he might just win (the job).

(2) Hoke two weeks earlier:

Freshmen contributing this fall: "Really haven't thought about it much yet." Depth concern at OL and DL might provide some opportunities, but it's too early to say. Corner? "Maybe. We'll see. Greg Brown's really, in the last week and a half he's really stepped up." Courtney Avery has stepped up as well.

(3) Craig Ross was also pleasantly surprised:

In a huge surprise to me, I saw some really good play from Greg Brown—at corner—in the last Saturday scrimmage [ed: ie, the Saturday before the spring game]. This was mentioned by the coaches, so it is not a secret or my insanity.

That sort of praise did not pop up about the departed Cullen Christian, for one. So it means something. How much it means is something we'll have to wait four years to find out, but at the very least it suggests Brown has a chance to be someone other than Darnell Hood.

As for what kind of player he is, the scouting reports read like the opposite of the ones we got for Avery and Talbott last year. Those praised the kids' athleticism and worried about their smurfiness; Brown's think he's got good enough size but don't know about those hips. ESPN($):

Has average height with good overall body length; should continue to fill out well. Plays bigger and taller on film than listed measurables. A bit high and rigid in pedal and opening and turning but uses his hands well and can stick to receivers in man-to-man without giving up much separation. Looks to be a better zone and underneath corner. Closes with above average speed and quickness. Displays more-than-adequate change-of-direction skill and overall footwork. … Very effective in deep coverage as well and defends the jump-ball well with his good leaping and high-point skills. Comfortable around the football and his polished receiving skills show. However, we do question his transitional skills and ability to flip his hips fluidly when matched up versus fast major college wideouts; not real explosive as a runner and speed could get challenged vertically as well.

When Tim covered the playoff game between Brown and OL commit Jack Miller he found Brown playing linebacker(!):

He's a bit stocky, and played exclusively outside linebacker on defense for Fremont Ross. Even at a position closer to the ball, he rarely seemed to be in on any plays, despite having a chance on some of them. As a linebacker, he only covered tight ends from the slot in pass coverage and did an adequate job staying with a guy half a foot taller than him. … His speed wasn't that impressive.

Those reports are in opposition Allen Trieu's, but Trieu caught him right at the start of his junior year—Tim saw him in his last HS game. Trieu($):

The report I had read coming into the game was that he did not have great timed speed, but watching him, I saw that he played fast. He also plays with a lot of aggressiveness and attitude and that showed in run support. He isn't afraid to come up and make tackles. He isn't a particularly powerful tackler, but he went low and got the job done. As a receiver and return man, he showed his quickness and open field elusiveness.
Areas for Improvement: Brown plays bigger than his size, but he is undersized.More Trieu($):

FWIW, local Ohio observers had a slightly higher opinion than Tim or the rankings at large. Ohio Varsity made him the #5 DB in the state, ahead of OSU commit and high three-star Dejuan Gambrell.

Etc.: Impressive games against Marion Harding and Findlay. This is not Greg Brown. He was All-Ohio in his division, the largest, as an "end" on offense.

Why Grant Mason? Mason was around 5'11" and was not athletic enough to get an NFL sniff, but he was a useful piece as an upperclassman after his transfer from Stanford and started as a senior. Like Mason, Brown is a good student (3.5 GPA) and projects as a guy to develop in the hopes he ends up a useful piece behind a star.

Guru Reliability: You'd think high since he's been fairly high profile—evaluators had two years of games to check him out in the full knowledge he was a Michigan commit. The spring stuff might bring that into question.
General Excitement Level: If you asked me on Signing Day I was going to politely suggest that not everyone can be a starter and Brown was probably going to be Darnell Hood, but one spring ball later Brown looks like a viable threat to crack the two deep and is 50-50 to be a starter at some point. A bit below moderate, then.
Projection: also 50-50 to redshirt. Michigan's starters should be Woolfolk and Avery and they are apparently going with Thomas Gordon, not a corner, as a dedicated nickelback. So it's JT Floyd, Terrance Talbott, and the three freshmen competing to be the two guys who rotate in. I'm guessing only one freshman plays—Brown may not have the hype but he showed up early.

As far as the future goes, he'll be in a war to replace Woolfolk next year. He probably loses that to someone, at which point he'll have to wait for Avery to graduate before he gets a shot.



April 27th, 2011 at 4:12 PM ^

He seems to have gotten more buzz during spring camp than his whole senior season from what I remember reading, or lack of reading about Greg Brown in Friday Night Lights. Good to see that he's been working hard though. 


April 27th, 2011 at 4:14 PM ^

I was plesantly surprised when I heard coach Hoke's comments about Brown.  I also thought that he wouldn't make much of an impact based on the scouting.  In this case I'll be glad if I'm proven wrong.


April 27th, 2011 at 4:14 PM ^

Coach Mattison wants the Safeties to be able to play both FS and SS spots so we're unlikely to see any corners subbing in at FS. Von Miller is the highest rated Linebacker in this years draft but he was an average 3 star recruit in High School. Other prospects were 2 inches taller, 20 pounds heavier, and had some iflated stats but in college you can't win on talent alone (unless you're Cam Newton and you have a  great defense to do half the job for you) work ethic is HUGE in college and everything in the NFL. Even though it feels good to get a top recruiting class I feel good about Hoke's emphasis on character over swagger. If he takes a 3 star recruit he felt it was the right choice and I wont flinch. I still think twice about high profile recruits after so many of RR's kids crapped out. I don't mind Zeke Pike picking Auburn one bit with Hoke in charge.


April 28th, 2011 at 5:18 AM ^

What the fuck has Hoke done to warrant such blind faith? Had RR been an OL coach at Mich in the 90's would you have been ecstatic about his recruitment of "high character" guys such as Vinopal or Dileo? Hoke didn't even recruit Brown!!! I hope Hoke wins here, but seriously his name is Brady, not Moses or Jesus. So sick of people acting like he was divinely appointed by the almighty pimp hand to lead us out of the desert to the land of milk and bcs championships. Would have loved to see what RR could have done here with equal talent, $1M for a DC, and a tenth of the fan/alumni support Hoke has. (Long live the serial comma!)


April 27th, 2011 at 4:14 PM ^

...advantage of his early enrollment to work hard and make an impression with the coaches. If he's as self-aware as his HS GPA indicates he might be, this could explain his expectation-beating performance so far.

Good for Greg.


April 27th, 2011 at 4:18 PM ^

I'm not sure what to think of Brown.  It seems like all the good Michigan corners in recent years have been highly rated and the good ones before Rivals/Scout/ESPN were hyped up, too.  

It just seemed strange to me that as a senior, Brown essentially became an outside linebacker and wasn't much of a playmaker.  Maybe he was coasting as a senior or maybe the coaches just wanted to get him closer to the line of scrimmage, but...

...Grant Mason is probably a decent comparison.


April 28th, 2011 at 12:03 PM ^

...his team was lacking LB's and he was asked to make the move to help the team. I am hoping that is the case. If it is, it shows he is unselfish and will do what's best for the team. Also, it shows versatility, although I do t see us moving him to LB.

What do you think?


April 29th, 2011 at 7:37 AM ^

Yeah, it's possible.  That's kind of what I meant by the coaches wanting to move him closer to the ball.  If they had a stud OLB, they wouldn't need to move him.  I do think it shows that he's a team player, and I've heard mostly good things about his character, so hopefully he does well.

Blue boy johnson

April 29th, 2011 at 11:51 AM ^

This somewhat contradicts what you said in another thread, In the "Sam Webb hints a DB is transferring" thread, you had this to say.

"If it is Greg Brown, I'm not completely shocked. Much like Austin White, Brown had some rumors of character issues floating around. If he transfers prior to his freshman year, then that only solidifies the similarity to White."


April 27th, 2011 at 4:27 PM ^

You say Avery and Woolfolk are top two corners and Floyd will be battling with Talbott and freshman. Why would Floyd not be a starter if he is healthy. Avery played good last year but figured he would be the third guy behind Woolfolk and Floyd.


April 28th, 2011 at 12:43 PM ^

To be honest, "serviceable"  is being pretty charitable to Floyd.  He had some rough, rough games last year (Iowa and PSU, in particular).  Avery is a more talented player and now has a year of experience under his belt.


April 27th, 2011 at 7:20 PM ^

This kid has some potential. I wouldn't be surprised to see him getting a lot of playing time this year and in the future. He is a great asset to the wolverines :)


April 27th, 2011 at 7:31 PM ^

Not only Charles Woodson, but Freemont Ross sent to Ann Arbor, Rob Lytle, who left the program as its all time leading rusher when his career was done in the mid 1970s, and then Tony Gant, a starting DB in the mid-1980s, including the great 1985 team.

So, once every 10 years or so, Freemont Ross sends us an All- Conference Caliber player. Clearly, this is happening again, right? Somebody please tell me its happening again.


April 27th, 2011 at 8:22 PM ^

We need depth and competition, so any time we get "more promising than we thought" it's a good day.  And someone owes me something after DB C Christian fizzling out let alone .... (sigh)


April 28th, 2011 at 4:30 AM ^

I agree, if he becomes a Grant Mason type of player or better, that would fare well. On the other hand, Darnell Hood and Anton Campbell were both good special team players. Even though they didn't become solid starters, they certainly weren't useless. In the event Greg Brown doesn't become a starter, he can still provide value and earn a degree. It's a relatively low ceiling/high floor play that may pay dividends or may not in terms of production, but I don't think he's the type to become an off-the-field liability.