Tyree Brown admits he took a gamble last month when he opted not to enroll in prestigious St. Lawrence University to continue chasing his Division I football dream. The risk may still pay off for the 2015 Buffalo News Player of the Year and record-setting South Park quarterback.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Brown told The News on Monday afternoon he has enrolled into a prep school, nearby Canada Prep. He spent the morning completing the admissions process, then returned to Western New York to take the field for the South team’s practice session prior to Wednesday’s 41st Annual Kensington Lions All-Star Football Classic at Tonawanda High School.
“I think prep school is a better option,” said Brown, who decided last month – a little late in the process – to forego attending St. Lawrence at little to no cost as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Program. Division III, “I don’t think that’s the direction I want to go.”
Brown, the Connolly Cup winner who missed the NCAA Clearinghouse standard for Division I by two points, joins another Buffalo Public Schools product, Bennett’s Brandon Brown (no relation), at Canada Prep. Brandon Brown, who enrolled in the school, located near Welland, Ont., last winter, has received offers from Central Michigan and Boston College. Canada Prep plays a schedule that features United States-based counterparts and has sent its share of recruits to Division I and II schools.
Tyree Brown will likely only have to take one class since he was so close to passing the Division I Clearinghouse (he has already met the Division II standard but wants to pursue a Division I opportunity). Brown, who will shift from quarterback to wide receiver and defensive back, will then spend the rest of his time at the school working out -- looking to improve his already blazing 40-yard-dash time of 4.48 seconds and strength (he benches 215).
"He's the perfect candidate for prep school," Sparks coach Tim Delaney said.
Brown guided South Park to the state Class A title last fall with a six touchdown performance at the Carrier Dome. Brown, the state Co-Player of the Year, set school records for passing yards in a season (2,615), passing touchdowns in a season (30) and passing yards in a single game (368). He also matched South Park’s record for career passing touchdowns (47) and rushing touchdowns in a season (22). He just missed setting the school mark for rushing yards by 27 but still finished with an impressive 1,370 yards on 122 carries.
Brown’s combined passing and rushing total of 3,985 yards ranks in the top three ever in Western New York.
Brown also played some safety during the Sparks’ historic playoff run, recording six interceptions – including two in the state semifinal victory over Maine-Endwell that ended the Spartans' state record 62-game winning streak.