Sports

Saint Stephen’s running back Chase Brown takes offseason visits to Indiana, WMU

Chase Brown is the most coveted uncommitted rising senior in Manatee County after topping 1,400 yards during his junior season at Saint Stephen’s.
Chase Brown is the most coveted uncommitted rising senior in Manatee County after topping 1,400 yards during his junior season at Saint Stephen’s. zwittman@bradenton.com

Only a few weeks after Mike Hart became the first Division I coach to reach out and make an offer to Chase Brown, the running backs coach left for a new job. The assistant coach had been at Syracuse for only a year when Indiana offered Hart a new $300,000 annual contract.

A few days later, another call came for Brown. It was Hart again. The Hoosiers wanted the Saint Stephen’s running back after a breakout junior season in Bradenton.

“Mike Hart, he’s a great guy,” Brown said Tuesday. “I’d love being around him. He sounds like a coach that I’d want to be around at the next level.”

Brown made Bloomington, Ind., one of two destinations for an unofficial visit during the summer. He spent much of the summer up in his native Canada with twin brother Sydney Brown, a safety for the Falcons, only to come down for the occasional visit or camp. His other unofficial visit to a D-I program was to Western Michigan, one of the most recent schools to offer the back who led Manatee County in rushing last year with 1,416 yards.

Mike Hart, he’s a great guy. I’d love being around him. He sounds like a coach that I’d want to be around at the next level.

Chase Brown, Saint Stephen’s running back

Brown has pulled in nine offers, including ones from Central Florida and Purdue, making him the most coveted uncommitted rising senior in the county. While the Hoosiers and Broncos got the first two visits, Brown said he’s still been talking with coaches at all nine of the schools who have offered, and pointed out the Boilermakers as one of the other schools he’s been most in contact with.

Brown has also still been talking with Orange coaches since Justin Lustig was hired as its new running backs coach, he said, although SU’s current recruiting situation makes him a bit more leery about strongly considering Syracuse.

“The new running backs coach hit me up, and he texted me and stuff,” Brown said, “but I’m pretty sure they have two commits there already.”

Sydney Brown hasn’t pulled in quite the same recruiting attention as his brother, but he holds three offers of his own entering the Falcons’ preseason camp from Central Michigan, and Football Championship Subdivision programs McNeese State and South Dakota. The safety participated in a summer camp at Wayne State University, a Division II school in Detroit, and is hoping more attention will come if he builds on his 81-tackle junior season.

“Keeping in touch with them, talking to them as much as I possibly can and trying to move on forward with that,” Brown said of the three schools who have extended offers. “Trying to get a few more offers before I graduate.”

Both Chase and Sydney Brown are originally from London, Ontario, and missed the first two games of the 2016 season before joining Saint Stephen’s and helping the Falcons win the Sunshine State Athletic Conference. The running back was a second-team All-Area selection by the Herald.

David Wilson: 941-745-7057, @DBWilson2

News and nuggets

Aug. 1 means schools can start sending out official scholarship offers to the nation’s soon-to-be seniors, and at least two of Braden River’s verbally committed rising seniors got theirs Tuesday. Defensive back Tyrone Collins received his official offer from Missouri and defensive end Taylor Upshaw got his from Florida. Both defensive players committed during the summer.

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