Final four for 4-star LB Brown

For four-star inside linebacker Richie Brown of Long Beach, Miss., it is officially crunch time.
Between now and national signing day (Feb. 1), he will make four officials.
On Thursday evening, he left for Tennessee. Next week, he'll check out Southern Miss, then Mississippi State. On Jan. 27, Brown will wrap things up with a visit to Mississippi.

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While he isn't ready to name a leader, Brown said the school he ultimately selects is "going to be one of those four."
Brown will visit the Vols with his parents, who are making the drive with him to Knoxville. Tennessee only recently offered but has made a strong impression in a short period of time, he said.
"I can tell they're sincere in what they're saying," Brown said. "When I talk to college coaches, I really do notice everything. I can kind of tell who's serious and who's not. I can tell they're serious. They apologized. They said they were sorry they weren't on me from the get go, but they wished they were. I could tell they meant it."
Brown thinks the circumstances in Knoxville could potentially be a good one.
"They explained their situation to me," he said. "They said I'd fit well. I figured, why not take a visit and see. They said they're losing some linebackers and they don't have the best core of linebackers. They were talking like it's a good situation for early playing time. They think it's something I could handle."
According to Brown, several Vols coaches are involved with his recruitment.
With Southern Miss, his next stop, new head coach Ellis Johnson has been active with the program's pursuit of Brown.
"He calls me as much as he can," Brown said. "And so does [assistant] Steve Buckley. He used to coach at Petal (Miss.). They're good coaches."
Brown also speaks highly of the other two instate schools among his leaders.
Mississippi State:"State has always been there. It's a great school. I've been there a good bit. I've been to Mississippi State the most. I know they're definitely sincere and that they believe in me."
Mississippi: "I've known [the new coaches] from when they recruited me at Arkansas State. They said, 'We didn't think we'd get you, but now you're a top priority.'"
Brown is excited about what should be a whirlwind next few weeks.
"It'll be fun," he said. "I think it'll be a good experience. I'm lucky to be in this position."
Keith Niebuhr can be reached at Keithrivals@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter @KeithRIVALS.