football

Brown talks about the switch

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Miami (Fla.) Norland linebacker Keith Brown switched his commitment from Miami to Illinois this past week.
"I made that decision," Brown said of switching to the Illini. "I felt it was a better fit for me and my brother, of course. I wanted to play for Coach (Ron) Zook."
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound inside linebacker doesn't think he caught Miami off-guard with his decision to switch from the hometown team.
"I think he (Al Golden) kind of knew where my head was from when I talked to him a couple weeks ago," Brown said. "I think he was kind of expecting it."
A major reason why Brown selected the Illini was because they also accepted the commitment of his brother, and Norland teammate, outside linebacker Lamar Atkins.
"That had a major impact," Brown said. "I could have gone to a bunch of places that offered both of us. But Illinois was clearly the best decision for both of us."
The duo visited Illinois last week for their game against Michigan. That official visit made a major impression, especially what Brown heard from his future teammates.
"When I went up there for my visit I loved the team, my teammates, and how the team cares about one another," Brown said. "They just spoke to me about how Coach Zook cares about his players. They said he is a man of his word."
Brown also liked his future home away from the field.
"It fit me," Brown said of Champaign. "It felt so much like a home away from home. It felt like just another town, a place that I could go. I honestly just wanted to get out of Miami and I think it will help keep myself out of trouble. That was a major reason too, to protect myself from getting into trouble."
With an early enrollment planned for the Rivals250 prospect, he believes he can make an immediate contribution to the Big Ten team.
"I will play inside linebacker for them," Brown said. "They blitz a lot, so I had a bunch of opportunities to get pressure on the quarterback and get a lot of sacks. They are interested in me starting my first year and I will be there to play my role."
Brown, who had previously taken official visits to Clemson, Purdue, and South Florida, said it is unlikely he takes his fifth and final visit.
"I think I am done," Brown said. "If I do take another visit, I am not sure where. But I think I am closing the book on the recruiting process."
Norland won on Friday evening advancing to the second round of the playoffs.
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