June 8, 2011

Ole Miss seventh school to offer Brown

Richie Brown had been to Oxford, Miss., several times before last weekend.

So Saturday, when the linebacker from Long Beach, Miss., arrived in Oxford, there was no need for a get-to-know-you session or an elaborate campus tour.

Instead, just one question hung over the day: Was Ole Miss going to extend a scholarship offer to Brown or not. By the end of the day Saturday, Brown had his answer - and an offer from Houston Nutt and the Rebels.

"They said that they weren't really waiting on anything specific," Brown said. "They just wanted to check if I was really still interested in them and wanted to see if I was willing to come work one-on-one. They said they were being selective.

"It was pretty exciting. Anytime you get an offer, it's exciting. I was kind of expecting it. I thought, sooner or later, it had to come. It's an offer you have to consider."

Brown tested extremely well, running a 4.5-second 40-yard dash (he ran a 4.4-second 40 a day later at Southern Mississippi's camp in Hattiesburg), but it was performance on the field Saturday night that apparently made the lasting impression with Ole Miss defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Tyrone Nix.

"He's a really good linebacker coach," Brown said. "He was really testing me hard. He was making sure I knew what I was doing, working with me one on one and testing my football I.Q. I like the challenge. I was enjoying the fact he was quizzing me. I was enjoying it because I got them right."

Brown left for Hattiesburg the next morning and "met with the coaches, talked with them a little bit. I went through some linebacker drills and got to know their linebacker coach pretty well."

Brown now has seven scholarship offers, with Stanford, Arkansas State, Kentucky and Memphis joining Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Mississippi.

"I can tell the schools that are showing more interest in me, and obviously, I'm going to be more interested in the schools that are more interested in me," Brown said. "I'm only going to like the school as much as they like me. You want to be where you're wanted. There are other factors that go into it, too."

Still, Brown's in no hurry to make a decision or to start narrowing the field. He said Tuesday he plans to travel to Miami, Arkansas State and LSU soon. He said he might visit Louisiana Tech Thursday. He also hopes to visit Nebraska and Stanford as well.

"There's no rush," Brown said. "(Mississippi State) Coach Dan Mullen and Coach Houston Nutt have both reassured me that I don't have to make a decision early. If a school really wants me, then obviously they're going to get me. I'm not going to rush it at all. I'm going to take it slow and kind of figure out everything.

"It's fun. It's definitely a fun thing. You go to camps, run really good times and answer questions, coaches start to like you and it's fun. I love football and doing anything with football is fun for me in general."

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