After the best season in program history, Saint Stephen’s is starting to see some of its rising seniors pull in college interest. Quarterback Fred Billy, running back Chase Brown and safety Sydney Brown all picked up their first Division I offers during the past month with McNeese State, a Football Championship Subdivision program, providing a common thread.
Billy, a first-team All-Area selection by the Herald in the fall and FloridaHSFootball.com’s Independent MVP, started the cascade of offers when McNeese offered him as a quarterback Feb. 14. The junior had assumed most schools would look at him as a wide receiver or defensive back.
“We was talking about like slot receiver,” Billy said, “but then he was just like, ‘Man, the coaching staff here just likes you. They thought you can really spin the ball.’ So he just offered me as a quarterback.”
Chase Brown was next. Syracuse offered the junior Feb. 16 and McNeese followed with an offer Saturday. Brown, who was a second-team All-Area choice, isn’t exactly sure where his Orange offer stands after running backs coach Mike Hart departed to take the same job at Indiana, but the Cowboys’ offer was sweetened a bit more Monday when they offered Sydney Brown, Chase’s twin brother and another second-team All-Area choice.
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“That’s the goal, and I’m sure we can definitely make it happen. Going to the same school is just a dream,” Chase Brown said. “That’s a big factor.”
While Billy and Chase Brown helped guide Saint Stephen’s offense to the Sunshine State Athletic Conference championship with 2,644 combined yards and 41 touchdowns, Sydney Brown was a key cog to the defense. The junior was second on the team with 81 tackles in only 10 games and third with five passes defended.
The two brothers, who are originally from Ontario and only moved down to Bradenton during the summer, echoed the same words as the two others.
“We’re a package deal,” Brown said with a laugh. “We’re all going to want to definitely play together.”