Quenton Brown believed he would receive a second chance to play at the Football Bowl Subdivision level after leaving Central Florida.
A solid season at Eastern Arizona College and an old relationship with John Skladany helped ensure Brown would get that chance at North Texas.
Brown said he committed to play for the Mean Green on Monday and signed his national letter of intent early Wednesday, the first day of the mid-term signing period. The 6-foot-4-inch, 225-pound Georgia native will enroll at UNT for the spring semester and have two years of eligibility remaining.
Skladany was the defensive coordinator at UCF when Brown was there, before taking over in the same capacity at UNT.
“The environment, the conference and the coaching staff were all part of my decision,” Brown said of his reasons for picking UNT, which will play its first season in Conference USA in 2013. “I know coach Skladany, and [UNT offensive coordinator Mike] Canales recruited me.”
The pair convinced Brown to sign with UNT over an offer from Hawaii. Several teams recruited Brown before he whittled his list of options to the two finalists.
The familiarity Brown had with Skladany’s defensive scheme made him even more comfortable with committing to UNT. He will play the same defensive end spot as K.C. Obi, who led UNT in sacks (5 1/2) and tackles for a loss (10 1/2) as a senior.
UNT returns defensive end Brandon McCoy on the opposite side and a productive backup in Aaron Bellazin. UNT’s coaches told Brown that they hope to help him push his weight to between 235 and 240 pounds by the fall.
“The coaches told me that they needed someone to make plays on the ball from the defensive front,” Brown said. “It all starts with the defensive line.”
Brown was a top prospect coming out of high school and had more than a dozen scholarship offers from FBS programs after helping lead Tucker to Georgia’s Class 4A title. He finished with 68 tackles and 10 sacks and blocked five kicks as a senior.
Brown chose to play at UCF but never found a role at the school and left to start anew in junior college. He thought he would get that second chance at Hawaii, but he chose UNT in the end.
“The main thing for me was being able to come in and play and be comfortable with my surroundings, teammates and coaches,” Brown said. “The love from coach Skladany and coach Canales helped me make my decision to go to UNT rather than Hawaii.”
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is email@example.com.