In the vortex that is major-college football recruiting, a worst-case scenario for any high school player is to have the coach who recruited him leave the school after the player is committed.
For Warren East linebacker Eli Brown, that is what happened with Kentucky.
Neal Brown (no relation), the former UK offensive coordinator, was Eli Brown's primary recruiter.
It was a big coup for Neal Brown, whose primary recruiting territory was the commonwealth, when Eli Brown turned down offers from Ohio State, Southern California, Penn State and Mississippi last April to commit to Kentucky.
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"Coach Brown really emphasized to me the impact I could have if I stayed and played in my home state," Eli Brown said. "He talked a lot about the rivalry between the Big Blue Nation and Louisville, and really sold me on being a part of it on the side of Kentucky."
It could have been a big blow to UK's chances to keep Eli Brown — one of only two four-star recruits expected to sign with the Cats — when Neal Brown was hired as the head coach at Troy after the 2014 season.
"But I understood," Eli Brown said. "I think most coaches, their goal is to be a head coach. I couldn't be mad at Coach Brown doing what he did."
With Neal Brown out of the UK picture, defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot took over as Eli Brown's primary recruiter. Since UK recruited the 6-foot-3, 196-pound Warren East standout as an outside linebacker, the switch gave Brown a chance to bond with his future coordinator.
"He's real laid-back," Brown said of Eliot. "He's a funny dude. He'll be talking and then out of nowhere, he says something that really makes you laugh. He's got a real dry sense of humor."
In a year when Kentucky football recruiting was subjected to rampant decommitting, a successful handoff of recruiting responsibilities between Neal Brown and Eliot is one reason Eli Brown signed with the Cats on Wednesday.