September 11, 2011

Brown nearing a decision

Florence athlete Beniquez Brown wants take one last look at each of his three finalists, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi State, before making a decision in the next couple of weeks.

On Saturday, Brown was at Auburn to watch Mississippi State play. He plans to be in Tuscaloosa at the end of the month to see Alabama host Arkansas, and he may also visit Florida the following week when the Crimson Tide plays in Gainesville.

Brown talked about his three finalists.

Alabama: "It's only two hours away from home. It's comfortable there, and I really like the coaches. It's where I've always been since I was young, and that's the place that I've been to all the time."

Florida: "I have a great relationship with Coach Robinson, but it's a long way from home. If I go there, I'll be nine hours away, but if that's the best place for me, that's where I'll go."

Mississippi State: "I love it there. I went to camp there this summer. My cousin committed to Mississippi State, so if I commit there, he and I would be together, just like we are now."

With a decision coming soon, Brown says one school stands out just a little more than the other two at this point.

"It's not really a leader, everybody is right there, but Alabama has a slight lead," Brown said.

On Friday, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound athlete played on both sides of the ball and was all over the field for Florence High School in a 10-7 loss to Bob Jones in a key Class 6A, Region 8 contest.

Brown finished with 14 tackles, including six for a loss and an interception on defense. He also had close to a 100 yards of total offense out of the backfield.

"He's huge," Florence head coach Alvin Briggs said. "He made some key plays on defense. He made some key plays for us on offense and got some things going for us. He's an instinctive player, and he's a competitor. He can play anywhere he wants to. It doesn't matter."

At Alabama's camp over the summer, Brown worked exclusively at safety where the UA staff has said they like him. In Friday's loss, he made the most impact when he moved up in the box and played more of a linebacker position.

"We've got a lot of different defenses, and sometimes I play in the box," Brown said. "For the last two years, that's what I played is linebacker. I went down in the box. I felt comfortable there and made some plays."

What position does he want to play at the next level?

"Whatever gets me on the field the fastest, that's what I'll play," Brown said.

Look for video of Brown from Friday's game later this week.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com.


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