National Signing Day came and went without much news from Beaufort High School.
Surprising, given some of the action in recent years. But behind the scenes, Eagles coach Mark Clifford worked to get the word out on his seniors. As the weeks passed, the biggest mystery to Clifford was that there was not yet a landing spot for Beau Brown, the talented quarterback who could play a variety of positions.
Brown, starting his final high school baseball season, did not let the process affect him. He planned to try to play baseball or football at a smaller school until receiving a game-changing phone call this past weekend.
The Beaufort Gazette/Island Packet caught up with Brown this week to discuss his recent news and his thoughts on the Eagles' baseball season.
Question: Where does everything stand with your college process?
Answer: I just got a call on Sunday from Clemson. And they want me to come up there and play football for them. It'd be kind of like a non-scholarship-type deal, but they pretty much said they have a spot on the team. That's pretty much where I'm looking at going and probably playing for them next year.
Q: What did they tell you?
A: (Assistant coach Dan Brooks) wanted to know if I wanted the opportunity to play. I said, 'Yes sir.' He said it wouldn't be a scholarship deal, because they've already used their scholarships. I guess I'm pretty much like a walk-on, but I don't have to tryout. I've already got a spot on the team.
Q: Is that a relief?
A: I was just kind of waiting and letting everything play out. I wasn't stressing over it too much. I'm having fun playing baseball and just kind of wanted to see how everything would play out. I think it played out pretty well. I was still kind of undecided. I wasn't sure if I wanted to try to go do baseball somewhere at a smaller school and maybe go to a smaller school and play football. After I got the phone call, my mind is pretty set. I'm going to Clemson.
Q: Where would you like to play on the field?
A: I have no clue. I'll probably talk to Coach Brooks sometime next week and find out what they're looking for me to do up there.
Q: I know it's early in the baseball season, but how do you feel about the way you guys are playing so far?
A: I think we're playing close as a team. We have a lot of camaraderie as a team. Everybody's just having fun playing. We're definitely a serious ball club when it comes down to it, but we always have fun here and there and crack jokes every once in a while and love being out on the baseball field. We're playing pretty good baseball right now. I'm kind of looking forward to see the outcome of the season.
Q: What's it going to take for you guys to have a successful season?
A: The basic fundamentals, really. At practice, that's what we harp on a lot -- just fielding the ball, throwing the ball, getting our timely hits, hitting the ball backside. Whenever we need to do something -- bunt the ball, hit the ball to the right side of the field to move a runner, just the timely stuff, the routine stuff. We harp on that and everything else will fall into place. The big innings will fall into place. If we play solid defense, our pitching will fall into place. Just stuff like that.
Q: It seems like coaches have had a tough time labeling you, that you play a versatile role. Are you comfortable in that spot?
A: It doesn't really bother me. I just want to help out the team any way I can. If coach thinks I can help out in this way, I'm happy that he can trust me wherever he wants to put me. It feels good that he can trust me enough to kind of play different positions. I just go out there and have fun.
Q: Are you planning to play summer ball with the Ospreys?
A: I'm not too sure. I might have to go up (to Clemson) a little early, start working out and do the football thing. I'm not 100 percent sure whether I'll be able to play Legion ball or not. I'm not sure what their schedule is, with lifting and stuff. I'm going up for the spring game, April 9, and getting the whole rundown on everything they want for the summer and position-wise.
Q: Who was your biggest athletic influence growing up?
A: Probably my dad (Lex). Just as a little kid, he's always been there to throw the ball with me, just always wanted me to work hard. The biggest thing he said was just to never give up. After you start something, never give up on it and you can pretty much do whatever you want. That's always been a big thing, just working hard and doing everything you can to make yourself better. Everything else will fall into place. And (all my past and current coaches) just trying to get the best out of me. They just want me to do the best I can and do everything as hard as I can. My dad is active-duty military. My mom (Jessica) has always been my biggest fan. She's kind of had to take on the father role when my dad's overseas.
Q: How about an athlete you've admired?
A: The biggest one for football is Drew Brees. He was a shorter guy, wasn't really looked at as going to be that great. He just kind of proved everybody wrong. He works hard at everything he does. I just like his mentality and how he plays the game.
Q: What do you like to do when you're not playing sports?
A: I like just hanging out with my family and friends. I like to go out on the boat, go to the beach, go fishing every once in a while and just hang out with the people that mean a lot to me is the biggest thing. Friends and family are an important part of my life. Those are the people that get me through life and get me through the day.