The WPIAL had a strong year in 2021 producing Power Five football recruits but the Class of 2023 is well on its way to matching or even surpassing it.
Players such as Laurel Highlands Rodney Gallagher, Brashear’s Ta’Mere Robinson, Chartiers Valley’s Lamont Payne, Brashear’s Kameron Cheatom, Sto-Rox’s Josh Jenkins, Serra’s Daquan Chatfield and Aliquippa’s Neco Ebeerhardt are some of the headliners in that class.
Here’s another name to add to that list and to keep an eye on as a major future recruit from Western Pennsylvania- Upper St. Clair sophomore running back Jamaal Brown.
Brown is new to the area having moved here last year from Miami. Pittsburgh Sports Now had the chance to talk with Brown about relocating to Pittsburgh along with his skillset, which is catching the eye of college programs including Pitt.
“I moved to Pittsburgh last March so at this time a year ago, I was packing up my stuff getting ready to come up here,” said Brown. “It wasn’t too difficult of a transition as I was able to bond with my teammates quickly and they welcomed me instantly as family.”
“My step dad actually went to Upper St. Clair in 1983 and graduated from there. We had family up here so he brought me up here and wanted me to go to the same school as him. He thought that being up here would give me a better all-around opportunity than where we were down there.”
Brown is a 5-foot-11, 205 pound running back/linebacker that despite being critical of his own play in 2020, is already listed as one of the top running backs prospects in the state for the Class of 2023. Brown has intriguing potential and is in the early stages of his development.
“On the field, I wanted to do a lot better than I did but I will improve next year,” said Brown. “As a back and the way I look, everyone compares me to Saquan (Barkley) because of my thighs and lower body. With my size, I’m able to cut well and make sudden moves on the field. One of the things I’m working on this off-season is to bring my forty time down. I run a 4.5 now and am trying to get down to 4.4. Being a back that has both power and speed has been my thing since elementary school.”
Year 2, Only up from here! – https://t.co/MO5ISxK7Vw
— Jamaal “JB” Brown (@Jamaal_Brown7) November 2, 2020
“I liked my first year playing up here in Western Pennsylvania, especially being from Florida. Down there, it’s a lot more about speed and up here, it’s a lot more about power. I liked it because I think I’m in between because I don’t rely one just one of those things. I think it’s a good fit for me.”
It’s early but Brown received some motivation for his off-season workouts as he’s started to receive some mail and recruiting interest from Cory Sanders and the Pitt Panthers.
“The communication started last month and this week, I received my second piece of mail from them,” said Brown. “I can’t really be in contact with them yet but I’m trying to follow-up and stay in touch with them. It’s great that they’re showing interest in me now and hopefully this will keep up until September when I’m allowed to be in contact with them and talk with them.”
“When I first got the mail from Pitt, I just got so excited. It gives you a burst of energy for your workouts and gets you to want to keep going when you know a school like that is watching you. For me just getting up there and having the big team in town knowing about me is great. I was actually in touch the other day with Notre Dame too. All of this is motivating but I know that I have a long way to go and need to keep doing what I do.”