Four years ago Jalen Brown walked through the doors at Mountain Pointe highly-touted and wore No. 85 his freshman year.
He has lived up to the level of play and then some, but a key ingredient to that was his switch to the jersey No. 2.
The Pride senior said at the time he wanted to be reminded that unless he worked to get better every day there was going to be someone out there better than him instead of being No. 1.
It didn’t feel that way Monday when the highly-recruited four-star wide receiver/safety announced he will continue his career at Oregon starting in January where he expect to continue wearing No. 2.
Brown is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound athlete that is ranked as the No. 8 wide receiver in the country. He has a great body control that allows him to run crisp routes, make sharp cuts and adjust to balls in the air better than just about all of his peers.
“One of the biggest things was me being comfortable with the team and coaches,” Brown said. “They were all good places but this one stood out.”
Brown said he and his family talked for eight hours on Sunday to come to the conclusion that Eugene was the right fit after narrowing his final six to Oregon State, Vanderbilt, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Arizona and the Ducks.
“I can relax now,” he said. “I loved the recruiting process but it got tiring after awhile. It feels good to have the decision out of the way.”
Brown, who is the school’s all-time leading receiver (158 catches, 2,720 yards and 38 touchdowns) and is tied for the most interceptions (14) in school history, set this decision in motion long ago when showed athletic ability as a youngster and decided his was goal to follow in the footsteps of his father, Adrian, who played Division I basketball (Western Kentucky and Arizona), and his stepfather, Chuck Levy, who played in the NFL with the Cardinals and 49ers after playing at University of Arizona.
But the ability to play spring ball with the Ducks began in the summer when he put in the work to graduate in December to become the third Pride athlete to do so, matching Olympian Will Claye in 2008 and golfer Darian Spivey, who graduated in Dec. 2011 in order to start playing golf at Northern Arizona in the spring.
In other words, just like when he showed up at Knox Rd., he is going to be ready to make an impact from the start.
“It was hard at first, taking summer classes, but once I got in a routine and knew what it was leading to it wasn’t a problem,” Brown said two weeks ago. “I want to be involved with whatever program I end up as soon as possible so I can get comfortable and be ready to contribute right away.”
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.