When LSU received the signed letter-of-intent from track star Bealoved Brown a little more than a week ago, Dennis Shaver landed a true gem.
Bealoved Brown is one of the nation's top high school sprinters
Brown, who is a four-time Texas Class 4A state champion, two-time USA Track & Field Junior Olympics medalist and two-time AAU Junior Olympics medalist in the sprints and relays, received offers from numerous schools.
After whittling her list down to the Tigers, Texas A&M and Texas, it came down to really just a two-team race.
“I really like the academic support system and when I took my visit to LSU I really liked the dorms, the facilities, the coaches, the girls, really everything,” Brown said. “Coach Shaver made me feel like I was an individual where if I would have gone to A&M I feel like they looked at me just as a sprinter. Coach Shaver made it more personal.”
Something else that played a role in her decision was the three hour drive from Beaumont to Baton Rouge.
“I wanted to stay not too far away from home but kind of close and LSU fit that,” she said. “That’s why it really came down to LSU and A&M because Texas was a little too far.
“Then the fact that Pat Henry never talked to me and made it as personal as Coach Shaver did really made it to where I knew what I wanted to do.”
Brown said Shaver’s approach and message was one that separated him from the other coaches in the process.
“He told me something that no other head coach told me,” said Brown. “He told me he needed me and that really played a huge factor in my decision. Coach Shaver made it so much more personal between he and I.”
This decision was one that meant a lot to Brown for several reasons. Her father helped her with the recruiting process up until he had a stroke last year. He is still recovering and isn’t able to be as involved as the family would like. However, that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t aware of what had transpired when she made it official.
“We showed him the papers and he just had a big smile on his face,” said Bealoved’s mother, Tammy Walker-Brown.
That only reinforced what Bealoved knew in her heart.
“I know that LSU had been on the top of my dad’s list for a long time, and had been one of the schools that I wanted to go to since I was in the seventh grade,” she said. “I saw them run once and really started to think about how I may be able to do that in college. Then LSU was really one of the dream schools that me and my dad talked about.”
Another person who played a prominent role in helping with her decision was Bealoved’s younger brother Tony, who is a five-star cornerback and is going through the recruiting process himself.
“I think that he kind of knew in his gut that I was going to LSU,” said Bealoved. “I would ask Tony what he thought about Texas and A&M and what he thought about being in that uniform and running for that school. He just kept saying that the academic support system at LSU is what me and dad always talked about. He never pressured me and he just said I needed to go where I felt comfortable at.”
Now that one decision is made in the Brown family, all eyes turn to Tony as Tiger fans are hoping he will follow his sister to Baton Rouge.
For some, that could be a lot of pressure. However, mom doesn’t see it that way.
"I don't think it's pressure on Tony, I think it's a calm," Walker-Brown said. "We are a very close-knit family. I went to college with my twin brother, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I expressed those feelings to them.
"Tony is excited about her being at LSU. That's where he wanted her to be.”