July 14, 2010

Nation's top back visits Texas, nearing decision

If the recruiting process were simply a football field, Cibolo (Texas) Steele running back Malcolm Brown would have already bowled over a defender or two, and raced into the end zone and announced his college intentions a long time ago.

On the field, Brown is a machine - the Lone Star State's version of The Terminator, except he's constantly seeking the end zone instead of Sarah Conner. There's nothing about his near 11 yards per carry as a high school player that suggests quick decisions are a problem.

Off the field, Brown is a human - a regular teenager suddenly faced with the most difficult decision of his young life. As the last days of the recruiting process wind down, he's found that making that final decision is a little more involved.

With offers from around the nation pouring in, the five-star back has narrowed his list of his schools down to two - Texas and Alabama. While the Longhorns have long been a school that Brown has had a strong interest in for a couple of years after numerous visits to the 40 Acres, a trip to Tuscaloosa this summer sent Brown's interest level in the Crimson Tide to new levels.

Suddenly, there are two teams are the top of Brown's list - both with a unique set of strengths.

One of the Texas' strengths is proximity and after hosting him in June at the school's summer camp, the Longhorn staff hosted Brown and his family again on Wednesday. If previous visits had been football oriented or centered around a bigger group event, today's trip was 100% personal and focused on academics, the campus and the family atmosphere of the program.

"It was good. We just wanted to check it out with a little more detail, I guess you could say," Brown said on Wednesday night after returning home to the San Antonio area. "We just went up there and checked it out a little bit more."

With both schools making their pitches, Brown refused to make a big deal out of his return visit with his parents.

"We visited with the coaches a lot, so we just got into more detail," Brown said.

"I guess it's easier (being down to two schools), but yet a little harder because you have to get down into the deep, deep detail of it. It's going to be a tough choice, but I hope to make it soon, hopefully."

Brown admitted that the finish line could be in sight.

"I'm still going to try and do it before the season," Brown said.

If you're wondering about a leader, don't expect a public admission before he's ready to announce his decision. As high-profile as Brown is field, he's just as low-key off of it and he's not tipping his hand at this point.

"Not right now because both of them are pretty good schools," Brown replied when asked if he either school had an edge.

The 6-0, 210-pound Brown is rated as the state's No.1 player and currently holds the only five-star ranking in the 2011 class from Rivals. As a junior last season, Brown rushed for 2,170 yards and 33 touchdowns on 201 carries (10.8 ypc) in 12 games.

Editor's Note: We'll have more information on Brown's visit and the impact of Wednesday's visit in this week's War Room.

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