Josh Brown is a four-star recruit out of Charlotte (NC) Mallard Creek. The 6'3, 220-pounder profiles as a hybrid end/linebacker and has been committed to Florida State since September 21. I caught up with Brown at the Charlotte Nike Opening Regional Camp Saturday, where Brown showed good speed and change of direction. He opened up about his recruitment, taking visits, and his faith.
Florida State's 2016 recruiting class is rated No. 1 in the country and has 14 verbal commitments.
The first thing to note about Brown, who chose Florida State over offers from Alabama, Duke, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Tennessee, etc. is that he takes a lot of visits to go see schools. Just this year he has seen Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Duke, Tennessee and others, along with FSU. Despite that, Brown says that he is solid to the Seminoles -- recruiting trips are fun and you only get one chance to take them as a recruit. Brown is just affirming that he made the right decision with FSU.
"You only get one chance to do it, so you have to take advantage of your opportunities," Brown said.
Brown didn't always love football
When Brown first began playing football, he shied away from the contact and didn't really want to play.
"I hated it. When I first started my dad kind of forced me into it. I thank him for doing it, but at first I couldn't stand coming to football practice every day," Brown said when he first started playing in the fourth grade. "When I started making plays on the field, I realized, 'Hey, I can be good at this, I like hitting people and not getting in trouble for it.' It was a good situation from then on."
Brown, the youngest of five, always grew up getting beat on by his siblings and didn't get to dish out the punishment.
But the light began to come on a few years later. As a seventh grader, Brown was pancaking people at left tackle and realized he was pretty good.
Getting his FSU offer was an emotional experience
"It was the day after Florida State's spring game (2014), and [former FSU defensive ends coach Sal Sunseri] was telling me to check-in and that he wanted to offer and he'd [run it by head coach Jimbo Fisher]. I was getting on the plane on my way out to Cali to see Stanford, UCLA and USC, and I hit him up and he said 'Yeah, you have an offer.'"
"My dad started crying," Brown said. "He was super excited, it was a big moment."
"I kind of knew from the jump," Brown said of when he knew FSU was right for him because the Seminoles gave him a chance before he blew up as a prospect. He was also enamored with FSU's education, family atmosphere, football tradition, and the city.
Despite coach turnover, Brown's relationship with FSU remains strong
Despite coach Sal Sunseri leaving for the Raiders, Brown says his relationship with FSU is strong because of the trust and family feel he has developed with all of the coaches, including running backs coach Jay Graham, a NC native who recruits the area for the Seminoles.
"I've built the relationship with coach Graham, and [new FSU defensive ends coach Brad Lawing] came in and I've been building the relationship with him," Brown said.
Focus on faith
Brown is the son of a preacher, Fred, and is active in his dad's church, Faith Center.
"When I was a kid I used to hold the bucket like the kids do, but now I work in the sound booth," Brown said.
His relationship with Jesus Christ is very important in his life.
"God is the only reason I have what I have right now," Brown said, noting that he hopes to live up to the Biblical leadership qualities of his name, Joshua.
As far as faith playing into his recruitment, Brown looks for coaches to be themselves.
"You've got to be genuine," Brown said. "A lot of people aren't. It's not a game, and you know who is real and who is not."
Building a bond with future teammates
"Janarius. J-Rob (Florida State 4-star defensive end recruit Janarius Robinson, of Panama City (Fla.) Bay High School)," Brown said when asked with which FSU recruit he's tightest. "That's my boy. We go on visits together."
Brown said that despite the visits the pair go on together, he believes Robinson is also solid to the Seminoles.
Brown also revealed that he is on track to be an early enrollee.
"Always trying to learn"
Some prospects come to camps and largely blow off the teaching portion, waiting for the 1-on-1s to try and impress evaluators and media. Not Brown, who really took to the coaching and worked through drills with intensity.
"I'm always trying to learn and to make my game better," Brown said. He worked with the defensive ends Saturday and is focused on his versatility and hands.