Five-star 2024 Linebacker Sammy Brown “Really Likes” What Ohio State is Doing and Enjoyed His Trip to Columbus Earlier This Month

By Garrick Hodge on September 19, 2022 at 11:35 am
Sammy Brown

When 2024 linebacker Sammy Brown first visited Ohio State last November, he was taken by surprise.

A five-star linebacker from Georgia, Brown wasn’t expecting Ohio State to extend an offer to him in his sophomore season. Still, he departed Columbus after watching the Buckeyes trounce Michigan State with a scholarship offer in hand from OSU. 

“It was really more of a shock than anything,” Brown told Eleven Warriors of receiving an offer from Ohio State. “My brother was a big Ohio State fan growing up, so it was a shock to him too. He was really excited. Ohio State is one of those major schools that you always dream about, even going to just watch a game. It was really cool.” 

Since receiving his offer, Brown has consistently kept in contact with Ohio State. He made his second visit to Columbus earlier this month for the Buckeyes’ home opener against Notre Dame and relished that visit as much as he did the first time he made the trek to Ohio. Walking from the tunnel onto the field, Brown said he immediately understood how special of a place OSU was. 

“I think that the biggest thing was the family feel that Ohio State has,” Brown said of his main takeaway from his visit. “You could just tell that by looking at the alumni that were there. Joe Burrow was there, and he didn’t even finish his college career at Ohio State. I think that shows how much of a family Ohio State is. All those people were there at some point and still feel a family connection.” 

Of all the celebrities in attendance that night, Brown, who roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was most excited to meet former Ohio State and Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier. 

“Growing up, I watched him a lot,” Brown said. “I got a picture with him. It was really cool to meet him.” 

While he enjoyed seeing a who’s who cast of characters on the sidelines, Brown was paying close attention to how he’d potentially fit into Ohio State’s revamped scheme under Jim Knowles. Brown said Ohio State is recruiting him primarily as an inside linebacker but praised the scheme for allowing that unit to play freely defensively.

“I was able to focus on those two backers,” Brown said. “The seats are semi-high up, so you’re able to see the play develop and whatnot. I just visualized where I would be (if I came here)."

Brown said he and Knowles usually talk weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, but that he and Knowles had talked extensively as of late. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker met with Knowles on the visit and came away impressed. 

“We were able to talk a little bit. He’s really easy to talk to,” Brown said. “He’s really an old-time coach. He walks around like he’s in a buttoned-up shirt every day. He’s really cool, and I’m able to connect with him really easily.” 

As for the game itself, Brown said it was one of the best gameday atmospheres he had ever seen. 

“It’s definitely up there,” Brown said. “It’s slam packed. I know they were over max capacity. I was talking to my mom, and I didn’t even realize I was yelling, but I was screaming to try to have a conversation with her about the game. It was absolutely electric being in that stadium.” 

Brown may very well be Ohio State’s top target at linebacker for the 2024 class, as he’s considered the ninth-best prospect and top-rated linebacker in 2024 per 247Sports’ composite rankings. OSU will have no shortage of competition for Brown either, as he currently holds 25 Division I offers, which include national powers Alabama, Georgia and plenty of other southern schools.  

The highly-touted prospect has made a name for himself as a standout two-way player for Jefferson High School (Jefferson, Georgia), as Brown plays both running back and linebacker. 

“I think sometimes in recruiting, kids can be overblown or overrated or not exactly what the media makes them out to be, but as soon as I saw him workout for a few days, I knew he was the real deal,” Brown’s high school coach Travis Noland told Eleven Warriors.  

Brown has racked up 25 tackles and an interception in four games this season. Offensively, he’s run for 544 yards on 65 carries with nine touchdowns. 

“He’s one of those guys that brings stability to your locker room because he’s not an emotional roller coaster, and he’s not a selfish guy, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to help his team be successful, and I think those guys are few and far between in college football,” Noland said of what Brown could bring to a college team. “It’s not necessarily just leadership, but it’s the type of leadership that he offers because he’s such a good person and has a high motor to do the things it takes to be good.” 

In his sophomore season, Brown ran for 753 yards on 58 carries with 11 touchdowns in seven games and made 35 tackles (3 for loss) with one sack and one fumble recovery. Brown said he believes being a two-way player will ultimately help his development as a linebacker. 

“It definitely helps a lot, not only conditioning-wise but also as a linebacker. To play running back because when you’re at linebacker, you can visualize what you’d do if you were the running back and fill gaps as if you were a running back or whatnot,” Brown said. “Because they’re really interchangeable of where they line up and their responsibilities and whatnot. It really makes your job easier as a linebacker to be a running back too.” 

Brown said he doesn’t have any other visits set in stone for the rest of the year and that he and his family will take visits as they can. The Georgia linebacker envisions committing sometime in July before the start of his senior season but hasn’t locked himself into that timetable. 

“There’s always the possibility I go to a school, and I just feel ‘This is the place I want to go to' and end up committing that day or in the following weeks or whatnot. There’s a slight possibility of that, but the plan right now is July.” 

Brown said he hopes to return to Ohio State sometime this spring before he starts his official visits to meet with Knowles again and talk football extensively without the pressure of the Buckeyes' defensive coordinator having to prepare for a game on the same weekend. 

“I really like what Ohio State’s doing,” Brown said of his interest in the Buckeyes. “They have a great culture and a great family feel. Which is kind of what I’m looking for in a school. Coach Knowles is a good guy, he’s going to really get on your butt, and that’s something I can really appreciate. That’s the kind of coaching I need. 

“It’s a really prestigious program. They’ve got great coaches and a great atmosphere. Columbus is a great college town, so it really checks all the boxes for a good college career.”

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