Some athletes are forced to choose between one sport or another as they move into higher levels of competition.
For Zachary High’s Keilon Brown, the chance to delay such a decision, or not make it at all, led to him deciding on where he will attend college.
Brown, a senior quarterback for Zachary this fall, is also a starting outfielder for the Broncos baseball team. The opportunity to continue playing both sports at the collegiate level helped him decide to commit to the University of Memphis on June 24.
The final choices were Memphis and Houston, and the Tigers got the nod thanks to the impression their football and baseball coaches made when Brown visited in early June.
“It really was about playing both sports,” Brown said. “And also, just having a relationship with the coaches.”
That relationship was emphasized by Zachary football coach David Brewerton.
“He (Brewerton) talked with my dad about it,” Brown said. “He said, “Go with the coaches that really want you, the ones that are real with you.’”
Brown, who has quarterbacked Zachary to consecutive Class 5A football championships, accounted for 4,124 yards – passing for 2,770 and rushing for 1,354 and accounted for a combined 30 touchdowns during his junior season. It was enough for the two-time Class 5A All-State selection and the 2018 Offensive Outstanding Player to impress the Memphis football staff, including quarterback coach Kevin Johns.
“I sat down with them when I visited and watched some film,” Brown said. “They do the same things we do at Zachary – spread, RPO (run-pass option) – and I feel more comfortable with that.”
Memphis currently has five quarterbacks on its roster. Redshirt junior Brady White was the Tigers starter last season completing 63 percent of his passes for 3,296 yards and 26 touchdowns. The other quarterbacks are comprised of two freshmen and two sophomores.
Brown discussed his options with his parents and decided on Memphis.
“They just said, ‘This is your decision. Do what’s best for you,’” Brown said. “We bounced some ideas around about the different colleges, the similarities and things like that. We came to the conclusion that Memphis was the best fit.”
The Memphis baseball program is part of that fit. Brown hit .409 this past season as Zachary advanced to the Class 5A quarterfinals. Brown, a first team All-State outfielder who batted .395 last season, liked what he heard during his June visit when met with two assistants in person and talked with head coach Daron Schoenrock by phone.
Brown also likes the chance an early commitment gives him to concentrate on his coming senior year. With Brown leading the way, Zachary returns enough players to be considered one of the favorites to win another state championship.
“Having this decision put a lot of weight on my shoulders,” Brown said. “Now that the process is over, I can just focus on my team and winning the state championship.”