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March 10, 2014

Arkansas running back picks up Big Ten offer

2015 running back D.J. Brown from Little Rock (Ark.) Catholic made the trip north to Champaign on Saturday to catch the Fighting Illini spring practice. The visit went well, and on Monday Brown got some good news from the Illinois staff.

"Illinois offered me today," Brown said. "I called Coach (Alex) Golesh after their practice and they said they were going to make the offer. We talked about how everything went on the visit, and they said they really like me at running back in their offense."

A speedy all-purpose runner, Brown said he could take a similar role to Illini junior Josh Ferguson should he eventually become an Illini. Brown watched Ferguson in action on the practice field Saturday and saw similarity in his game.

"I watched him a lot and he was really good - he could play in the NFL," Brown said. "They told me that's the kind of role I could play there. I can catch the ball out of the backfield and also play slot receiver."

Brown put those tools to work as a junior last fall at Little Rock Catholic, posting big numbers on the ground, receiving, and in the return game.

"I had 2,100 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns and was all-state," Brown said. "I was at the U.S. Army All-American Combine and posted really good scores - a 4.54 forty laser timed and 4.3 shuttle. So everything is falling into place."

Orange and Blue News will see Brown in action when the Rivals Camp Series makes a stop at Maine South HS in Chicago-land on May 4th.

The visit to Illinois gave Brown an opportunity to become more familiar with the Illinois program, facilities, and coaching staff. He arrived on campus Saturday morning.

"Coach Golesh gave me a tour of the campus, and I really liked that a lot," Brown said. "I got to meet the players, and see the academics that Illinois has to offer."

On the recruiting front, Brown plans spring visits to Northern Illinois and Missouri. He has four scholarship offers thus far and expects a couple more schools to pull the trigger soon.

"I have offers from Illinois, Memphis, Arkansas St., and Southern Miss," he said. "Northern Illinois is really close - they have been talking to me a lot. Missouri, it's pretty close with them too."

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