Alante Brown made the world wait until the dying light of National Signing Day to announce his final college decision, but the Simeon football star made it dramatic enough to justify the delay.
After eight other Simeon players announced their respective destinations at a 5 p.m. signing event at the high school Wednesday, the Texas Tech-bound receiver initially told a raucous audience that he was signing with Florida State.
But he then ripped his shirt off to reveal Red Raiders attire underneath.
“We were going through the pros and cons of each school, and as I was going through it and progressing and progressing, Texas Tech just kept emerging,” Brown said. “So it was like, ‘Why not just take the opportunity for me?’”
Brown’s signing ends a very eventful year for the 5-10, 180-pound athlete, who was a three-year starter at quarterback for the Wolverines. He first committed to Miami (Ohio) last summer, then decommitted and chose Michigan State, then decommitted again last month after the Spartans’ receivers coach was removed from his position.
He visited Florida State and Texas Tech each of the past two weekends and, last week, announced a Top Five of those two schools plus Iowa State, Pitt and Tennessee. By the time he mentally made his decision Tuesday night, however, he said he’d dropped Pitt and Tennessee from consideration but briefly added Florida Atlantic to the picture.
Ultimately, the Red Raiders won him over with their impressive facilities, history of accomplished NFL stars — Patrick Mahomes, Michael Crabtree and Danny Amendola among them — and detailed pitch about his role in the program.
“They were very specific about how they wanted to use me, what they’re going to do to me, how the transition was going to go,” Brown said. “They’re going to use me as many ways as they can: in the slot, as a running back sometimes, kick returner, punt returner. They’ll allow me to make plays and get the ball in my hands, and as I thought about it, I was like, ‘More touches, more touches, more ways to show off my skill set.’”
Brown’s mother, Shawnell Humphrey-Conyers, accompanied him on the visit to Lubbock, Texas, last weekend.
On Wednesday, she proudly stood behind he became the first Illinoisan to commit to play football there in more than 20 years.
“It’s been a struggle, but we made it,” she said. “We made it to our goal, and that is a free education. I’m excited for him to be able to play able to play on the next level, because this is his dream. Not many people get to accomplish their dreams, and … he’s getting to do it.”
Kenny Givens flips to Kansas State
Hubbard’s Kenny Givens decommitted from Toledo on Monday and signed with Kansas State — a Big 12 rival of Texas Tech — on Wednesday.
The 6-4, 245-pound defensive end had initially committed to the Rockets in January. He also had FBS offers from Wyoming and New Mexico.
Givens was part of a Hubbard team that went 4-5 this past season but defensively allowed fewer than 14 points per game.