By Tim Whelan Jr., USA TODAY High School Sports | November 9, 2017 2:38 pm
Already on the nation’s No. 1 football team, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) offensive tackle Tommy Brown received his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Thursday at his school as part of the American Family Insurance Selection Tour.
“It’s just a dream come true,” Brown said. “I’ve wanted to show that I’m one of the best in the nation, and I love proving it to people. At the Under Armour All-American Game, I hope to do it again.”
Brown, a 6-7, 315-pound four-star and Alabama commit, is ranked as the No. 10 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 13 recruit in the state of California, according to ESPN’s recruiting rankings.
He committed to the Crimson Tide in July, a move that he had long hoped to make. Brown’s father, Vince, threw shot put at Alabama. Brown remembers hearing “Roll Tide” for the first time around the Rose Bowl in 2010, when Alabama defeated Texas for the BCS National Championship. He said he’s gotten to learn and embrace the school rallying cry.
“Alabama is my dream school, and it always has been,” said Brown, who also throws shot put and discus at Mater Dei. “I grew up watching them. When that offer came in, it was a big decision. It came down to a business decision. I want to play in the NFL, and Alabama has a pretty good record of being able to do that.”
Oregon and California were Brown’s other top choices, but Alabama is where he wants to be. Being recruited by Nick Saban was hard to pass up.
“The first time I met him, it was very intimidating. I was extremely nervous,” Brown said. “But Coach Saban is awesome. On my official visit, we went to his house for Sunday brunch. It was an awesome experience.”
For now, Brown is the anchor on the line for the No. 1 team in the USA Today Super 25 Expert Rankings.
“We definitely want to focus on the task at hand,” Brown said. “We continue to take it one game at a time, knowing there’s a big target on our back.
“We’re hoping to win for Coach (Bruce) Rollinson,” he added. “We want to win for him.”
The Under Armour All America Game is scheduled for Jan. 4 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. and will be televised live on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. EST.
“There are so many greats that have come through this game,” Brown said. “it’s great to finally be a part of it.”
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