When Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson sat down with DeKalb running back Dre Brown in Ann Arbor, Mich., on June 13, the long-time coach told the junior he liked his game.
He also said he saw some things Brown needs to work on.
“But I’m not going to tell you yet,” Brown’s mother, Michele Stieren, remembered Jackson saying. “We’ve got to get to know each other, and then I’ll let you in on it.”
Brown may get to know the Michigan coaching staff much better over the coming months and years. The Wolverines haven’t offered him a scholarship yet, but they did invite him back for a barbecue at the end of July, where he’ll join Michigan’s newest commits and the some top prospects.
And with a strong junior season, Brown thinks he’ll secure an offer even though Michigan coaches told him they’ll have a small 2015 class.
“I think I’m on Michigan’s high list,” Brown said. “If I have a good junior season, I feel like I can get an offer.”
This season will be pivotal in Brown’s chase for more scholarship offers.
He’s already has offers from Illinois, Northern Illinois, Kent State and Toledo and has received interest from Indiana, Cincinnati, Northwestern, Minnesota, North Carolina State and Michigan State, which he said impressed him on a visit last week.
Cincinnati caught Brown’s eye when the Bearcats’ coaching staff took him on a tour of the school after a camp two weekends ago.
Brown hadn’t previously had contact with coaches from the former Big East school, but he does have a relationship with defensive backs coach Steve Clinksdale, who had some interaction with Brown when he coached at Illinois.
“I didn’t think it would be as big as it was, but it was pretty big,” Brown said. “I was pretty impressed with everything they have there … I liked how it was in a city but it doesn’t feel like you’re in a city. I like the campus, it was pretty high tech and nice.”
Brown has received plenty of direct interest from coaches, and many more camp invites and questionnaires. The floodgates may truly open when coaches can directly contact him on Sept. 1.
But for a little while, the recruiting process will take a back seat.
After an exhausting week, in which he went to two camps in Ohio, visited both Michigan schools and went to a camp at Northwestern, Brown will shift his concentration. He’ll head to a seven-on-seven tournament in Florida this weekend, and then he’ll focus on suiting up for DeKalb this season.
“It was definitely exhausting,” Brown said. “By the end of the week, I was drained. It was pretty fun, though.”