July 29, 2013

4-star WR plans to visit MSU

The Spartans are looking to bring in a game-breaking wide receiver for the class of 2014 and Keenen Brown]/db] of Alief Taylor High School in Houston, Texas is one of the top players on the board. SpartanMag.com was able to catch up with the 6-foot-4, 195-pound prospect and received some details on his recruitment.

Last year the Spartans signed only 1 wide receiver for the class in [db]Trey Kilgore of Ohio. In addition, the Spartans did not red-shirt 2012 standouts Macgarrett Kings or Aaron Burbridge. That means that it is imperative that Michigan State addresses the position with at least one blue chip recruit for 2014. Brown is on the short list of players that the Spartans have not only offered, but would gladly take a commitment from.

Brown is rated a 4-star recruit and the #30 wide receiver in the nation by Rivals.com. In addition he is rated a rivals top 250 prospect and the # 25 player in talent loaded Texas for 2014.Brown has an impressive list of offers which includes over 25 scholarships. The Spartans are viewed as one of his top 5 choices. We spoke with Brown about his recruitment by the Spartans.

“Yes, I like Michigan State. I talk with the wide receiver coach all the time (Terry Samuel). They are one of the schools I plan on taking a visit to,” Brown stated.

Coach Samuel has been very active in Houston since arriving at Michigan State University and he has been very high on Brown for quite some time now. His early evaluation of Brown as a big time playmaker was evidenced at the Rivals Camp Series in Houston. Here is what Rivals Analyst Rob Cassidy had to say about Brown after he was named one of the top performers on the day.

“Keenan Brown, one of the most physically imposing wide receivers in Texas, is not on this list for his consistency. He was quiet for much of the afternoon. The last hour of the event, however, was his time. Brown made a trio of acrobatic catches that caused spectators to release cheers of amazement. For the last chunk of one-on-one drills, Brown was the most impressive player on the field. It was almost as though he wanted to remind everyone that there was a reason he claims 10 scholarship offers. At one point, he won three consecutive reps that saw him create more than five yards of separation.”

It is that ability to get separation that has the Spartans so interested. Last year only Aaron Burbidge was able to consistently create separation on his routes and that caused the Spartan offense to struggle more so than it has in the past.

As far as his other suitors Brown has indicated that Oklahoma, Florida, LSU and Oregon are his other top choices. The Sooners are viewed as the leader at this point, though they did sign 4 wideouts back in February and already have 2 additional commitments for the class of 2014.

One thing that is obvious is that Brown is not against leaving Texas to play his college football. His top teams come from the SEC, Big Ten Pac 12 and Big 12. Only LSU is under 400 miles from home. Brown talked about what he is looking for in a college when it comes to making his decision.

“I was to make sure that I really like the coaching staff and that I have a great relationship with my position coach. I also want to make sure that they have an offense that features wide receivers and that my parents like it too.”

Michigan State’s pro-style offense should be an attractive option to "big" wide receiver like Brown. Under Mark Dantonio the Spartans have averaged 2900-yards passing per season and had multiple wideouts earn All-Big Ten and go on to the NFL.

As of this point Brown does not seem close to making a college choice as he definitely wants to take a few of his official visits. With that said, he did indicate to SpartanMag.com that he could make his choice if a school feels like it has everything he is looking for.

“I probably won’t make my decision until after a few visits unless I feel that as school is a great fit and I feel very comfortable there.”

Michigan State likes to have it’s top recruits visit after the season so that the coaches can spend more time with them. It will be interesting if that is the case with a player like Brown. It is very possible the staff will look to get him on campus for a game this fall so he can experience the gameday atmosphere in East Lansing. The November 2nd clash with the Wolverines could shape up to be a big visit weekend for Michigan State.

SpartanMag.com will continue to keep in contact with Brown in the coming weeks. The fact that the staff is going all the way to
Houston, Texas is an indication of just how much they like him. Keep in mind, former Spartan Keshawn Martin is now down in Houston playing for the Texans and some are predicting he could have a breakout season.

Matt Dorsey’s Take: As I stated back in May, the dropping of 2013 wide receiver Jay Harris was not a bad thing for MSU on many levels. From a recruiting standpoint it opened up a scholarship and the staff is looking to use that spot on a player who they see as having the ability to come in and play right away the way former top recruits like Aaron Burbridge, Keshawn Martin and Mark Dell did.

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