Baylen Brown wants to stay in state to play college football, but he had a specific location in mind.
Brown, who will be a three-year starter at left guard for San Antonio O’Connor, committed to Texas Tech on Tuesday, two days after receiving a scholarship offer from the Red Raiders.
“It wasn’t too hard of a choice,” said Brown, whose paternal grandfather attended Tech and whose father grew up in Lubbock. “I had a lot of offers, but Tech is where I wanted to be. Playing in the Big 12 has been a dream since I was a little kid.”
Brown said he is 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds. He said he received scholarship offers from Houston, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Tulsa and Texas State. He had another offer from Baylor that was rescinded.
In February, Brown attended a Tech junior day, an invitation-only event for highly regarded prospects.
“I really like the city,” he said. “It fits who I am. The biggest thing for me was the coaches. They’re real good guys. They were nice to me, they told me how it was, and they weren’t going to lie to me.”
Brown might have blocking in his blood. His maternal grandfather was Bobby Maples, a center on the “Orange Crush” era Denver Broncos who faced the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XII. Maples, who died in 1991, played 14 seasons for the Houston Oilers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Broncos, making the Pro Bowl in 1968.
Brown is just starting to assemble his own credentials, having been a first-team all-District 27-5A honoree each of the last two seasons. He made the San Antonio Express-News all-area team last season. He also was named to 5Atexasfootball.com’s all-sophomore team in 2010 and to the web site’s all-junior team in 2011.
O’Connor operates out of a spread formation, but runs the football more than it passes. Brown said he’s better at drive blocking and reaching the second level than pass protection. He’ll need to develop in the latter to eventually play for the Red Raiders and new offensive line coach Chris Thomsen.
“It’ll be a challenge, but I think it’ll come pretty easily,” Brown said. “Coach Thomsen said once he gets a hold of me, I’ll be fine.”
Brown said he carries a 3.25 grade-point average.
Oral commitments are non-binding until the national signing period begins in February. Brown is the eighth recruit to pledge to Tech for the class of 2013.
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