The Florida pass rusher gives verbal to SU after feeling at home on the Hill.
Syracuse nabbed its 14th commit for the Class of 2013 as 3-star Florida DE Malik Brown tells The Fizz it was all thanks to the respect he got from the SU coaches. In recruiting, the term show me the love is thrown around a lot. While Doug Marrone is not Jerry Maguire, HCDM gets into a zone on the recruiting trail and is effective in letting players know their importance.
“They recruited me so hard. They sent two or three coaches down here. I mean, I had three in-home visits from Syracuse. They just made me feel comfortable. If they’re showing me love and I don’t even go to the school, what kind of love do you think they’re going to show me there? I love it.”
SU shot up Brown’s list late in his recruiting process. All three of those in-home visits were within the last month. The West Palm Beach native joked the Orange showed him more love than he gets at home. Not only did John Anselmo, Scott Shafer and Steve Morrison impress Brown during the visits, his parents were also thrilled by their dedication to the 6’4” 230 lb. Dwyer HS product.
Brown admitted to The Fizz his decision came down to Syracuse and Minnesota. The athletic pass rusher had over a dozen offers from other schools like Mississippi State, Purdue and South Florida. But it hit him hard last night that he didn’t want to wear any other colors besides the Orange. He immediately called Morrison and broke his news on Twitter. Brown visited The Hill the weekend of December 7th, and returned from a visit to Minnesota a few days ago. His trip to the Twin Cities went well, but he tells The Fizz there was just something different about SU.
“As soon as I came home from [SU] I knew it was the place for me. It’s a long way from home, I get home sick very fast. But I just felt at home.”
Marrone seems to do his best recruiting under pressure. Three in home visits in a span of a few weeks is a ton of strenuous traveling. But it’s worth it for the Florida DE/OLB hybrid pass rusher. Even at his size, Brown runs a 4.7 40-yard dash. The main element of his game that attracted SU was his speed. Because of his freakish quickness, Malik says he can fool offenses easily. He can wreak havoc in the backfield or drop back into coverage.
“I am very versatile, I can play inside, I can play outside, I can do a lot things with my game. A lot of people don’t know what I’m going to do, so that’s how I beat them.”
The senior even played a little tight end during his high school career. He’ll most likely play OLB until he beefs up enough to contribute on the defensive line.
Malik becomes the fourth defensive line commit for this class. . The front four could be SU’s nastiest unit next year, and Brown will be able to learn from some of the vets on the line. Jay Bromley already met and showed the Florida product around during his visit two weekends ago. More importantly, Malik got a chance to sit down face to face with Marrone himself.
“That’s a cool dude, nice and laid back. The thing that got me, he said no matter where I go, he just wants me to be successful as a person. That made me feel even more comfortable that, he doesn’t just want me [as a player], he wants me to be successful as well. He’s not going to BS you either, he’s a really nice guy.”
This is why Marrone is such a solid recruiter. He has an uncanny ability to connect with recruits. Marrone wants only to see these young men better after college. He doesn’t care whether it’s in an Orange uniform or not. It’s his genuine nature.
Brown also had a chance to catch up with his good friend and former Dwyer teammate Julian Whigham during his visit. The two stayed close over the last year, and Malik said Whigham had been talking with him about the SU coaches throughout the fall.
The West Palm Beach native continues SU’s rich Florida pipeline. Right now there are a dozen Sunshine State natives on the roster. Brown joins fellow Florida product in this class, Nick Provo, who hails from Delray Beach (25-minute drive south down the Atlantic coast).
The closer during Brown’s recruitment was Dinosaur BBQ. He, too, couldn’t get enough of the famous spareribs and savory wings. Sooner or later, Syracuse may have to open up a Dino BBQ on Manley, thanks to how popular its been among recruits this winter. Brown may be using his speed and agility on a fast Carrier Dome turf to become one of the next standout pass rushers for the Orange.
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald