By LARRY VAUGHT
If Warren East linebacker Eli Brown had to make his college choice today, the four-star prospect said “it would be UK” but he doesn’t plan to make his final decision until the end of his senior season.
“Right now I am just trying to stay low key and not get that much into recruiting,” said Brown. “A lot of coaches are calling, but I am not too big on that.”
The 6-2, 192-pound Brown decommitted from Vanderbilt in October after giving the Commodores a verbal pledge in June. He also has scholarship offers from Ohio State and Western Kentucky. He had 50 tackles and 1,186 rushing yards with 15 touchdowns in 2013 for Warren East before tearing his ACL in the final game of the regular season.
“I want to wait to summer and take my visits. I don’t want to get behind in school,” Brown, who attended UK’s junior day earlier this month, said. “I am a pretty decent student, but this year has been kind of rocky. I went through surgery, missed some school and now I want to make sure my grades stay up.
“I have my strength back in my quad now. I got past the painful part of the rehab and in about two months I can start getting my running stuff down. I am moving along pretty fast in my recovery.”
Brown admits he “went way too early” when he made his verbal commitment to Vanderbilt and then changed his mind even before coach James Franklin left for Penn State after the season.
“At first all was great and I was excited. I was young (when I committed). It was more pressure by family than anybody. I was not ready. I just decided to lay back and de-committed. Penn State got a great coach, but that’s too far from home for me,” Brown said. “I have a lot of interest in Kentucky. It is not far from where I live. My whole family is UK fans.”
His primary recruiter at Kentucky has been offensive coordinator Neal Brown.
“He is a real cool dude. I have a real good connection with him. He comes down to see me as often as possible,” Brown said.
The Warren East star knows his college future is on defense, not offense.
“All the offers I have got are at linebacker,” he said. “They all like my versatility and love that I can play both sides of the ball. They do tell me how good I look on offense, but they all say I am great on defense.
“I am not the kind of guy that wants a spot given to me. I like to compete. I have talked to coach Brown and coach (Mark) Stoops a little bit about my size for being a linebacker in the SEC. I am not opposed to redshirting my first year. If they think redshirting is best for me, I am fine with that at any school. I have a dad that sets me straight and tells me stuff to make sure I don’t get a big head about anything.”