Position Rank: #10
His Recruiting Story
In an All-State junior campaign, Columbus East (IN) safety Steve Brown had over
1,700 all-purpose yards and 17 TDs on offense, and 30 solo tackles and three
interceptions on defense. Those stats garnered attention from a number of Midwest
programs, but in the spring before his senior year, Brown exploded onto the
scene and became a national recruit.
Over four hundred athletes traveled to Ann Arbor in mid-April for the annual
Midwest Nike combine. While there were a number of notable performances, none
may have been more impressive than that of Steve Brown. The athleticism that
made him so successful in his junior year was on full display. At 6-1, 200-lbs.
he ran the forty in 4.39 seconds, had a 35-inch vertical, bench pressed 185-lbs.
24 times, and ran a 4.3 second shuttle. Brown already held offers from Indiana,
Purdue, Illinois, and Nebraska prior to the camp, but that list quickly grew
after his showing.
Brown made the most of his time in Ann Arbor by taking the opportunity to
speak with the Wolverines coaching staff the day before the camp. "I grew
up watching Michigan and Charles Woodson all of the time," Brown said.
"I took an unofficial visit to Michigan yesterday (the day before the camp),
and I talked with Coach Carr last night. He said they wanted to watch me today
As it turns out, the Wolverines saw all they needed to see and offered Brown
a scholarship a few days later. "It was exciting," Brown said. "Coach
Carr said they liked me at the combine Saturday and that they had studied my
film. And that he wanted me to play for Michigan and was offering me a scholarship."
Charlie Weis was also on hand to see Brown's combine performance, thus prompting
him to extend a scholarship on Notre Dames behalf shortly after. Those two storied
programs were the only two left standing for the southern Indiana star by the
time July rolled around. Still, the Maize Blue always had an edge because of
Brown's boyhood love for Michigan. It soon became clear that that was too much
for Notre Dame to overcome and he pledged to Michigan at a press conference
at his school on August 1st, 2005.
"It was just the place I feel most comfortable with," Brown said
of Michigan. "When I was up there or when I’d sit at home and talk
to my dad and I’d talk to my mom, or I would just sit there and think
while I talked to my girlfriend and friends. When I’d look at other schools,
I could see myself playing at Notre Dame, but I couldn’t see myself playing
against Michigan. I’ve grown up a Michigan fan all my life.”
Brown was named an Army All-American during his senior campaign, but a broken
ankle cut short his final year as a prep. He had recovered enough by the All-Star
game to participate, but he still wasn't 100%. Brown is on track to be fully
healed by the time he reports to Ann Arbor this summer.
When we focused our attention on Brown at the Ann Arbor Nike combine, we definitely
got an eyeful. He excelled in the defensive back drills; displaying excellent
recovery speed and a nice break on the ball. On one occasion in the one-on-one
drills, he jumped a quick slant for an interception, (one of the few times that
was done all day).
"I've been told that I'm a safety with cornerback abilities. I've got
great lockdown skills and I can get up and jam a receiver no matter how big
or fast they are. I run well and use my hips well too. This is going to be my
first year playing safety so I need to work on reading the quarterback's eyes
more, and pick up my progressions more too.
Brown has an excellent chance of seeing time in the defensive backfield right
from day one.
Scout.com scouting report: Excellent size. Physically intimidating for a defensive
back. Athletic enough to play on either side of the ball in college. Can come
off a spot and accelerate very quickly. Smooth. Quick feet and elusive. Shows
elusiveness as a punt and kick returner. Hits like a linebacker. Has an extra