Leaving home to attend college in a different state is not easy for many high school football prospects.
Nine hours away? Some wouldn’t even consider it.
But Florence, Ala., athlete Beniquez Brown doesn’t mind the distance. He also knows someone whose been in his shoes before — Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, his primary recruiter.
“He was in the same situation I’m in,” Brown said. “He left his home state of Florida to go to Auburn, which is nine hours away. I would be going from there (Alabama) to Florida. So we have good communication about that.”
Brown said the common ground they have will help in his decision-making process. Robinson and the coaching staff showed Brown a family atmosphere that he found appealing on his first visit to Gainesville.
“(Robinson) treats me just like I was his son,” Brown said. “All of them treat you like they’re your daddy. It’s your home away from home.”
Brown met with head coach Will Muschamp about the needs of the team and also toured the campus with tight ends coach Brian White.
“It was real good,” he said of the visit. “I talked to all the coaches about their open positions and building a relationship with all of them. Now I’m real comfortable down here and my mom said she wouldn’t have a problem with me coming if this is where I decide to go.”
Alabama had previously led for Brown, but the UF visit opened his eyes and put the Gators in his top five.
“They raised the bar,” Brown said. “They set a high standard for me and my mom liked it. I’m not gonna say I have a favorite. I love Bama. It’s my home state, not too far away from my mom so it’s good.
“But then I came down here and saw the great environment, great coaches and I love it down here too. So right now everything is just wide open.”
The determining factor in Brown’s commitment will be comfort.
“I’m gonna go wherever it’s comfortable for me,” he said. “It’s not about too close or too far away from home, it’s wherever I feel comfortable at.”
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound athlete also needs to find comfort at a position, too. Florida extended an offer to him last month, but where he will end up has yet to be determined.
“Really they won’t say right now,” Brown said. “They just say do whatever I want. I’m torn in between the two right now. I don’t really know what I want to do. Either offense or defense, it will be a last-minute decision.”