As much as recruiting rankings matter in college football, there's no replacement for desire and motivation, both of which Alief Elsik safety and Texas Longhorns signee Chris Brown possesses in spades as he prepares to prove that the recruiting services were wrong about him.
Head coach Charlie Strong is a already big believer in Brown, sending out a significant compliment to his fellow during the recruiting process.
"You know the thing that I like about you, you have a chip on your shoulder," Strong told Brown. "You are going to prove to everybody just how good you are."
By the time the final rankings came out before Brown pledged to and signed with the Longhorns on National Signing Day, the services weren't convinced by the 5'10, 199-pounder -- 247Sports barely ranked him among the top 50 safeties nationally, slotting him at No. 49, and considered 92 other 2016 recruits in the state as better prospects.
Some cause for that chip on Brown's shoulder to become a little bit bigger, for sure.
Strong likely doesn't understand those rankings and neither does Brown.
"Honestly, (I) don't know why I was a three-star recruit," Brown told the Austin-American Statesman. "I'm not blaming anybody or making any excuses. It just means I have something to prove."
In that way, Brown already echoes his head coach and has some arguments to back up his case as too lightly regarded.
After Brown missed most of his sophomore season due to injury, he was behind in accumulating film and having reps on Friday nights. No big deal -- the confident safety merely responded with 43 tackles, five pass break ups, five interceptions, and two forced fumbles in a playmaking junior season that earned him offers from the likes of Michigan and Florida, his other two finalists.
As a senior, Brown still had three interceptions despite the fact opponents couldn't move the ball or score points against Elisik.
In the middle of the field, Brown took away deep pass attempts by playing the football and coming up with those interceptions or understanding when to pull off and target the would-be pass catcher, doing so remarkably in one clip and knocking the ball loose. On another that he could play, he chased a massive overthrow and made a jumping, diving catch at full extension.
As an enforcer, he ranged sideline to sideline to help support the running or passing game and delivered the type of hits that linger in the minds of opponents all game. Check out the intro to this highlight reel and stick around for the 35-second mark when he runs the alley on a screen pass and lays another big strike.
In recent years, the Longhorns have ended up with too many players who became complacent or peaked during high school. By disposition, Brown is not one of those players.
"I'm a competitor," Brown said. "I like to compete. I don't want anything handed to me. I'll cherish it more when I get it."