The 2024 recruiting class is still years away from putting pen to paper, but the West Virginia football team has been proactive in the quest for finding talent on the gridiron.
2024 recruit Asaad “BJ” Brown Jr. is one of the potential recruits that WVU feels could make an impact in blue and gold. Brown (6-foot-1, 174 pounds) has already been offered by Boston College, Charlotte, Georgia Tech, Jackson State, Louisiana-Monroe, Marshall, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Old Dominion, Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia, Nebraska and Virginia Tech.
A rising sophomore from Portsmouth Christian School in Portsmouth, Virginia, Brown made the varsity squad as a freshman, playing wide receiver and defensive back for the Patriots. He’s quick and shifty with the ball in his hands, and he’s strong and physical without.
While Portsmouth’s 2020 football season didn’t go according to plan, losing four straight after a 3-0 start, Brown flashed explosive ability as a receiver and hard-hitting, ball-hawking skills from the secondary. After watching his cousin Tony Grimes, a five-star North Carolina commit in 2020, go through a rigorous recruiting cycle, Brown is dedicated to maintaining more than just his skill on the field through the process.
“I watched [the recruiting process] with my cousin Tony, but to be honest, I’m trying to make sure my grades stay straight so I don’t have a problem like a lot of these other guys do,” Brown told WVSN. “I just love playing football.”
Brown loves to play football, and WVU would love to have him commit to play football in Morgantown, too.
WVU assistant wide receivers coach Bilal Marshall has been the leading voice in recruiting Brown to WVU, starting it all on social media over the past several weeks.
“Probably about a month – month and a half,” Brown said. “My dad told me that he had followed on Twitter, so when I went and looked, he sent me a message about camp and that was one of the schools that I was planning on visiting.”
Despite being nearly 400 miles away from Morgantown, WVU has been on Brown’s radar for a little while now. A few years ago, a teammate of his visited Morgantown and sang the praises of the facilities and program. Ever since, Brown said he’s been looking forward to coming out for a visit of his own.
While he doesn’t know all that much about WVU coach Neal Brown and the staff, just what he’s seen from social media, Brown said he watches sports. He’s seen the players from the area — someone like sophomore WVU wide receiver Ali Jennings from Highland Springs, he said — playing for the Mountaineers. One mention of Tavon Austin, and the recognition is evident.
However, while Austin electrified as the world of NCAA football as a wide receiver, Brown sees himself following a different path.
“Hopefully I will be at defensive back,” Brown said. “I’m blessed to have [good] hands, but I like doing the hitting.”
Brown isn’t wary of contact, but he’d much rather be the one dishing the punishment than taking it. It’s a plus that his strong hands can lead to game-changing plays from the secondary.
Having been imagining a visit for a while now, Brown is working toward making the trip out to Morgantown sooner rather than later — June 10th being a possible date, he said.