Name: Jamall Brown
24/7: 77; two stars
Scout: two stars
Other offers: none
I am gonna have a hard time with this one. Rivals's article announcing Jamall Brown's verbal is headlined, "Wahoos pick up surprise commitment" and they weren't kidding. Brown didn't blip on any radars in the recruiting coverage world, and he is essentially a camp commitment, only he committed a month after camp. He came basically out of nowhere. There's hardly any history to draw from.
Maurice Canady was a camp commitment too - the usual kind, that commits before he leaves the camp or the day after - and here's what the VirginiaPreps site wrote about Canady: "At every testing station and every drill, camp attendees were left talking about Varina's Maurice Canady who walked away from the camp with a scholarship offer..." Canady, in other words, was one of the stars of the camp; this is why he was offered. The article didn't once mention Jamall Brown.
This is not to suggest Brown had a poor camp; it couldn't have been that bad since that's how he picked up his offer. He wasn't creating much buzz, though, and his nonbuzziness started as a junior when he was playing receiver with a broken wrist for a team that hardly ever passed the ball. (It's not a stretch, in fact, to suggest that Hampton's offense meant he might have been stuck at six catches on the year, broken wrist or not. Seriously, those guys don't pass.)
I was looking forward to seeing what Brown could do in his senior season, but that's been derailed too. Hampton was supposed to have more of a pocket passer (Jeremy Eubank) replacing David Watford, but Eubank hurt his hand in a car accident and Brown had to take over at quarterback. In his second game, a 14-13 win over I.C. Norcom, Brown split quarterback duties with teammate Deon Newsome. Brown completed exactly one pass and Newsome completed another - to Brown.
Ugly game. Ugly start to the season for Hampton, too - Eubank is back, but they've fallen to 2-2 and Brown is not getting on the scoresheet. Which is disappointing; I guess by "looking forward to seeing what he could do" what I really meant was "hoping he'd produce like crazy." That hasn't happened yet.
At the very least, Brown is a solid athlete; he plays defensive back as well and the reason he's lined up at QB is the "best athlete on the team" theory of high school quarterbacks. I don't know why I've seen the word "undersized" in scouting reports, as in this one from Recruit757: "Brown seems a bit undersized for BCS football, but might earn a DI FBS scholarship with a productive senior season." 6'0" 180-ish is not undersized. Tim Smith is 6'0", 185. That's not Brown's problem.
The scouting services that have rated him, though, are in agreement that he's only a borderline I-A prospect. That combined with his total lack of offers - not even ODU or JMU or any of the multitude of I-AA schools in Virginia had given him one - is some pretty solid evidence that Brown has a lot of work to do to get himself up to playing at the BCS level. The chance certainly exists that he's a diamond in the rough that needs polishing; he's been jerked around by circumstances pretty thoroughly. Broken wrist, moving from WR to QB and back, Hampton's offense, crummy QB play this year - it all adds up to a lot of difficulty getting noticed. Still, there are more polished receivers that will enter in 2012 with Brown: Canaan Severin, Adrian Gamble with his year at FUMA, Anthony Cooper if he doesn't become a safety. And the wondertwins will only be sophomores next year. Brown probably redshirts in 2012, and then faces a long uphill climb. Honestly, his most likely contribution is special teams work.