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NATIONAL SIGNING DAY: Herald POY Brown gives surprise commitment to Middle Tennessee State

The Herald's 2011 John Reynolds Player of the Year, Chris Brown of Seminole County, was a preseason Herald Dynamite Dozen player, then went out and rushed for 1,648 yards on 132 carries for an average of 12.48 yards every time he touched the ball. Brown chose to continue his college career at Middle Tennessee State on Wednesday, despite late interest from Auburn and Georgia Tech. (Herald file photo_

The Herald's 2011 John Reynolds Player of the Year, Chris Brown of Seminole County, was a preseason Herald Dynamite Dozen player, then went out and rushed for 1,648 yards on 132 carries for an average of 12.48 yards every time he touched the ball. Brown chose to continue his college career at Middle Tennessee State on Wednesday, despite late interest from Auburn and Georgia Tech. (Herald file photo_

DONALSONVILLE — The kid with all the moves, the zigs and zags, the cuts up, down and around defenders — the magic that is Seminole County’s Chris Brown, an elusive running back who dazzled and dared defenders to stop him — finally stopped running late Wednesday.

That’s when Brown, who was wrestling with offers and counter offers for the past few days, stopped in his tracks and signed a football scholarship with Middle Tennessee State.

Brown, The Herald’s John Reynolds Player of the Year who had decided late Tuesday night not to sign Wednesday — National Signing Day around the country — ran a reverse late Wednesday and decided not to wait on possibilities that were clearly in front of him.

Brown had solid offers from Middle Tennessee State and Georgia Southern on the table Wednesday morning, but after meeting with Seminole coach Alan Ingram and his parents late Tuesday, he told Ingram that he would rather wait to see what would develop. There was a storm of possibilities brewing on the horizon. Both Auburn and Georgia Tech entered the race to sign Brown late, and Ingram told The Herald on Wednesday both schools were serious about signing Brown.

“Auburn wanted him to come there Monday and meet with coach (Gene) Chizik,’’ Ingram said. “I believe Auburn really wanted to sign him.’’

Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson was still talking to Ingram about Brown on Wednesday, and Ingram told Brown of all the late interest. But then Brown suddenly called an audible.

“He decided to go ahead and sign with Middle Tennessee State,’’ Ingram said late Wednesday evening. “We brought him back up to the school and he signed with them.’’

Brown is coming off an amazing season. In addition to winning The Herald’s coveted POY award, He was also named to all three all-state teams, the AP’s First Team, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s First Team and the GACA First Team, which was announced this week.

Brown, who was a preseason Herald Dynamite Dozen player, rushed for 1,648 yards on 132 carries for an average of 12.48 yards every time he touched the ball.

He finished with 29 rushing TDs and also caught eight passes for 248 yards and two more scores. On defense as a defensive back, he was just as good, picking off five passes and recording 54 total tackles.

He helped lead Seminole County to the best season in the school’s history as the Indians advanced further in the state playoffs than ever before, reaching the Class A state quarterfinals.

Brown did not return phone calls to The Herald seeking comment Wednesday night.

Brown’s cousin, Miller County linebacker T.T. Barber, signed with Middle Tennessee State at 9 a.m. on Wednesday in a ceremony in Colquitt to start the day. Seminole County scheduled its signing ceremony for 10 a.m., and defensive back Dee Virgin, who is going to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, was the only Seminole player to sign, because at that point Brown had decided to wait.

Ingram said Brown changed his mind later in the day.

“They’re getting a steal,’’ Ingram said. “He’s a great player.’’