For the past few years, New Hope (Miss.) High School has been a steady contender in the Class 5A postseason. Looking ahead to 2011, the Trojans must replace several talented skill players. But junior tight end Lawrence Brown believes New Hope will surprise some people next fall.
"I think we will be a lot better than most expect," said the 6-foot-5 and 225-pound Brown. "We have a good senior class with a lot of leadership in that class. That alone helps the team as a whole and we're all working hard in the weight room."
And to do his part next year, Brown said his duties may find him on the other side of the ball as well. Last year Brown had 15 catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns.
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"I will still be at tight end and I think I will play a much bigger roke on offense," said Brown. "I want to get my yards-after-catch up and get the ball a little more and I am sure that will come with time. But the coaches told me I might also play a little at defensive end next year and that sounds good to me."
In recruiting, Brown already owns an offer from Ole Miss and believes another in-state school may be next in line. Brown has been active of late checking out a few SEC schools and has a few more trips ahead as well.
"Ole Miss is my only offer right now," said Brown. "But I think Mississippi State is the next that is close to offering. Alabama and Louisiana-Lafayette are both showing good interest, too.
"I have been to junior days at Ole Miss and Mississippi State. I am going back to Ole Miss on April 16th and then I am going to Louisiana-Lafayette this weekend. Plus, I am going back to Mississippi State for spring practice and probably Alabama, too, to watch them practice."
A few weeks ago, Brown said he didn't know much about Mississippi State nor was he getting much interest from the Bulldogs. Yet Brown said both of those fronts changed thanks to his experience at MSU's second junior day.
"It was pretty nice and it really helped me a lot to get to know more about them," said Brown. "I got to meet a lot of their coaching staff and it was good to be there. They are now showing a lot of interest in me and want me back for one of their spring practices, and I plan to do that. They want me to come back and talk to my parents 1-on-1 and I look forward to that.
"It was also good to see them practice. They show a lot of intensity and they are fast-paced and I liked that. They also use a lot of tight ends in the offense and I liked that a whole lot. That day definitely helped to change my thoughts about them and it was a good day."