As we resume the countdown of the Top 60 players at the University of Miami we take a closer look at the guy who came in as last year's most hyped recruit: linebacker Arthur Brown. Is the 6-2, 223-pound high school All-American finally ready to contribute? Or will he need another year to figure things out with a new defensive coordinator?
> What we heard about him on Signing Day '08: When AB chose the Hurricanes over LSU, Alabama, USC and North Carolina, there wasn't an analyst in the country who wasn't praising Randy Shannon and Micheal Barrow. Brown, who enrolled in January at UM, was a consensus superstar according to every recruiting service. Scout.com tabbed him No. 1 regardless of position. Rivals had him fifth. ESPN had him sixth. And why not? The U.S. Army All-American made 151 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior Wichita East High in Kansas. The highlight reel plays between he and his younger brother Bryce had everyone in the nation believing the Browns might be America's next premier football family.
> What he's done as a Cane: Of course, Arthur didn't live up to the hype one bit in his first year and a half at Miami. Despite enrolling early with seven other freshmen, he still was far behind in terms of development and understanding former coordinator Bill Young's defense. Brown had problems in coverage situations and by the end of the season was learning middle linebacker (a role usually reserved for guys who struggled with that). In all, Brown played in 10 games and made four tackles -- all on special teams. This spring, he had a few eye-opening moments -- including a big hit in the backfield on a broken play. But he still didn't appear anywhere near ready to really contribute. He had two tackles in the spring game. According to spring testing, Brown runs a 4.64 in the 40 (4th among linebackers), benches 330 (most among LBs) and squats 435 (3rd among LBs).
> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: Too many people watched Arthur Brown closely in high school and thought well of him for me to believe he'll be a bust. But there is no doubt whatever football he played in Kansas did not prepare him for anything at Miami. I expect this to be another learning season for Brown, one hopefully that doesn't turn into a lost season. New defensive coordinator John Lovett has simplified things down enough (at least from what we've heard) that perhaps Brown can learn just enough to be able to contribute in the rotation at linebacker. The Hurricanes need all the help they can get at the position. And as long as Brown finds a role, whether its just making tackles at middle linebacker or using his speed and athleticism on the edge to make plays -- that is at least a step up in production.