Wednesday, September 28, 2011

the recruit: Jamall Brown

Name: Jamall Brown
Position: WR
Hometown: Hampton
School: Hampton
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 178

24/7: 77; two stars
Rivals: NR
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.


Anonymous said...

With the two-deep being so young, I think a lot of the 2012 class should/will be redshirted. There simply isn't the demand that there was this year. Now, if guys step up, that's a different story, but assuming the veterans returning in 2012 remain steady, there just doesn't seem to be many places for a true freshman to step in.

Thus, I'm thinking Cooper may be red-shirted. With Tim Smith and the "Wonder Twins" back, the WR depth chart is stacked already. There would be a need for a physical, bigger target to complement those guys, and that might come from within (Gooch/Royal), or likely, from a challenge by Severin/Nixon/Gamble perhaps. Cooper doesn't seem to fit there.

At safety, with Walker/Harris waiting in the wings, and Alvarez/Mack/Latimer hanging around, along with the incoming Brim, the need isn't big. Now, one thing that could throw things in the air a bit is whether or not they would ponder Walker back at CB. We're assuming Phelps will be ready, but there's no guarantee, and the depth is questionable.

I guess we could see one of the under-the-radar DB's/ATH like Rainey/Wahee/Moore/Canaday perhaps grabbing a depth chart spot on the 2-deep. Hard to see many of the trench guys grabbing a spot. The one possibility would be at end, so Harold/M.Moore could push.

I'd rather redshirt Kwontie, and have him primed for 2013, as Greer is a capable starter, but it wouldn't surprise me if he's in there on day one.

Anonymous said...

Brown is an HHS kid who can run very fast (as fast as Canady at our camp). I get being down on him based on the lack of media buzz (he obviously created plenty of buzz among the people who matter....). But it's not like UVA can afford to focus solely on Rivals-250 type players. A fast kid from HHS is a good risk to take.

As for potential contributions, who knows? We're getting more production from a former walkon (Snyder) than a former 4-star recruit (Smith). When was the last time UVA was led in receptions by a WR recruit who was highly rated? Burd wasn't highly rated; neither were Ogletree or McMullen. To be fair, Groh generally did not slot highly rated players at WR, and you can see that London and Lazor have big plans for Terrell and Jennings. I just hesitate to guess at these things...

Anonymous said...

As the 2012 recruiting class comes to an end, I wonder who the three or four guys we have space for are going to be? (According to London we have 3-4 more spots).

Ideal list (also happens to be the recruits you highlight in yellow on your recruiting board):
1.)Stephon Diggs
2.)Cyrus Jones
3.)Ken Ekanem
4.)Nathan Staub
I think we have a good shot with Staub, but the other three are complete wild-cards. If we don't land those three would we take other recruits? A guy like Mike Tyson? (I don't think we should considering our future depth at Safety)

Anonymous said...

I have a hunch that London and staff want to keep the Hampton High pipeline open. They want to establish a good relationship with everyone involved with that program, so the next time there is a Tyrod Taylor type coming out of that school, they will be more inclined to look at UVA. Starting a trend of taking Hampton's best athletes is a good thing in my opinion. Watford, then Brown, then [insert next strong athlete here].

Anonymous said...

I tend to think Ekanem is fairly unlikely. I'm hopeful, and still a bit surprised that we've lasted this long, but doesn't he want to be a 3-4 rush backer? Granted, he can be a 4-3 SAM that plays as a rusher at end, but he seemed fairly definitive about wanting to be a 3-4 rush backer.

I want to dream on Stefon Diggs and Wes Brown, but both seem like longshots. I feel like Cyrus Jones might be our best bet for another top tier recruit, but the situation seems like it might be tough to convince him to come as a WR with so many young guys.

Overall, I don't want them to give a scholarship just because they have ones to give. I'd rather save those scholarships up for next year's loaded in-state class instead. If they truly feel someone will be a quality fit, though, then go for it.