September 5, 2008

Brown looking forward to change of scenery

Michael Brown made up his mind weeks ago, sometime during his first walk on the Ole Miss campus.

Sure, the big offensive lineman from Lexington, Texas, loved the Rebels' facilities, the prospect of playing in the Southeastern Conference and the real chance at early playing time at Ole Miss. He loved Oxford, complete with a small-town charm that reminded him of his Texas home.

However, what he noticed on that trip to north Mississippi was the same thing that so many other red-blooded males notice every time they cross The Grove or walk around the Ole Miss campus.

"It was the girls," Brown said, laughing.

The three-star offensive lineman was joking -- sort of.

"Nah, really, it was that connection with the coaching staff. (Ole Miss offensive line) Coach (Mike) Markuson has been on me hard. He's been the one recruiting me and I felt that connection between us. That's where I wanted to go. We knew it was coming for awhile. We just didn't know when to do it."

Brown chose Ole Miss over Baylor, Illinois and others. However, Ole Miss has been in the lead for months. Brown just wanted to get a feel for how the Rebels' first game under coach Houston Nutt would go. Ole Miss won, 41-24.

"I just wanted to see how the team responded to the new coaching staff," Brown said.

Ole Miss wants to sign at least five _ and probably six _ offensive linemen in the 2009 signing class. Jackson, Miss., offensive tackle Emmanuel McCray is the only other offensive linemen on the Rebels' current commitment list, which stands at 11 following commitments this week from Brown and Cleveland, Miss., wide receiver Terrell Grant.

"(Markuson_ was excited about it," Brown said. "We were just about to get off the phone and I told him I was ready to commit. He went crazy. He was happy as can be."

Brown said it "doesn't matter" whether he plays guard or tackle at Ole Miss. He's just looking forward to a new experience.

"I'm pretty excited," Brown said. "We don't have any SEC teams around here. It'll be fun to see new teams and new places. I've seen most of the places around Texas, so I'm kind of looking for a little change."

Brown, who is on pace to qualify academically, said he won't take any more visits or entertain any new offers.

"I'm finished," Brown said. "I'm still going to take some visits to Ole Miss, but I'm finished. Our football schedule's pretty packed, so I probably won't get a chance until early December or sometime around then."

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