St. C.’s Brown verbals to Youngstown St.
St. Clairsville’s Jaylon Brown admits that the college recruiting process did get a bit frustrating.
Hearing time and time again that he was too small to play at the Division I level simply did nothing but serve as motivation.
“I went to a few camps and coaches said they were looking at bigger backs, which really put a chip on my shoulder,” Brown said.
Brown can put all of the recruiting worries and things behind him, however.
He verbally committed to Youngstown State University Thursday afternoon. The Penguins, who are members of the Football Championship Subdivision, offered Brown after he attended their camp earlier this summer.
“I actually tried to call (the coaches on Wednesday) to commit, but I couldn’t get a hold of them,” Brown said. “I had been talking to my parents and coach (Brett) McLean and I just came to the decision that it was the best place for me.”
Getting the decision out of the way at this point means Brown can focus strictly on football, which officially gets under way Monday when double sessions begin.
“It’s great to have this out of the way and off my chest,” Brown said. “Now, I can think just about playing football and not think about schools or recruiting.”
Brown’s path to the Penguins started when Ron Stoops, a Penguins’ assistant, visited a Red Devils’ track practice in the spring and invited Brown to a camp.
“I went to the camp and performed pretty well,” Brown said. “They offered me shortly after the camp. I got to tour the school, really liked the campus, it’s not too big and the coaches were good guys.”
Prior to YSU, Brown’s only other offer was from West Virginia Wesleyan, a Division II school.
“It was frustrating at times because most of the coaches all said the same thing about staying patient and waiting it out,” Brown said. “That’s tough for me as a high school kid when you’re seeing other guys on Twitter getting offers and things like that.”
Brown had a huge junior year for the Red Devils in helping to lead them to the Division IV state title game.
He ran for 1,834 yards and 34 touchdowns last season en route to second-team all-Ohio honors. He was first-team all-Eastern District, all-OVAC, all-Times Leader and all-Valley.
“I don’t have individual goals set for myself,” Brown said. “It’s all about winning and doing anything I can to help the team win. If you listen to people, some think we’re going to be down. We’re anxious to get on the field and show that we’re still going to be a pretty good team.”
Though Brown has been playing tailback since he was in seventh grade, Youngstown State is looking at Brown, who was the bronze medalist in the 100 meter dash, as a slot back.
“When I went through the camp, I worked with the wide receivers,” Brown said. “I really enjoyed it. I’ll definitely have to improve my route running and obviously adjust to the speed of the game.”
Brown becomes the second Red Devil player on the 2013 squad to cast his college lot. Michael Ferns committed to Michigan more than a year ago.
Jaylon, who is the son of Keith and Cynthia Brown, plans on majoring in sports management.