Fleck calls top recruit Itayvion Brown an 'absolute stud'

The 6-foot-3 Missouri standout has position flexibility.
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Itayvion Brown

Remember the name: Itayvion Brown. 

Brown, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker from Saint Louis, Missouri, is the highest-rated player in the University of Minnesota's 2020 football recruiting class. Brown signed on National Signing Day this week, with his 4-star rating from 247 Sports the highest in the group of 26 recruits. 

Here's the evaluation 247 Sports gives Brown, who is only 18 years old. 

"Tall with a very big wingspan, even for his height. Already has good size and weight with a frame that will allow him to potentially grow into several positions. Primarily a receiver and outside linebacker in high school, but should start out on defense in college. Shows good fluidity and athleticism in space. Tracks the football well in the air and has good ball skills. Changes directions fairly well for a longer-legged player. Can still get faster and more explosive. Main concentration in college will be finding a position full-time. As that is likely to be on defense, he will have a technical learning curve there, but has the physical tools to do it. Must get stronger in order to handle rush-end or linebacker at the Power 5 level. Will need time to develop, but the ceiling is high and athleticism will be too much to keep him off the field."

Brown received offers from more than a dozen other Power 5 universities: Florida State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Michigan State, Missouri, Ole Miss, Purdue, TCU, and Texas A&M.

According to his Gophers bio, Brown led his high school to a state championship as a senior and finished the season with 105 tackles and seven sacks. He also caught six touchdowns as a receiver on offense. 

"We knew that he was going to be an absolute stud. This kid is long, strong, can run. He looks like (current Gopher linebacker) Kamal Martin – a little thinner – but he looks like Kamal Martin," head coach P.J. Fleck said. 

"He's a tremendous athlete, really good football player," Fleck added. 

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