Potomac School running back Jalen Broome had done all he could to firmly establish his college football future. He’d sent out highlights, been in contact with coaches, earned interest…oh, and there was that whole rushing for 2,125 yards and 25 touchdowns thing.
But as signing day came and went, and as other area backs signed away the stress of an undecided senior spring, Broome waited. Thankfully, his duties as a guard for the 18-7 Potomac basketball team kept him busy, but the distraction of the hardwood never pushed his concern for his gridiron future from his mind.
“It was rough because you go through stretches where you’re in a lot of contact [with coaches] and then you go through stretches where you’re not really hearing anything,” Broome said. “You’re just sort of sitting and thinking, ‘Where do I stand? What’s going on?'”
After the season, Broome sent out his highlights again, and the footage earned a second look from the coaching staff at Brown University. Though Broome and the Bears’ coaches had exchanged a few emails during his junior year, other FCS schools had shown much stronger interest.
But something in Broome’s senior footage caught Brown’s eye. After a visit from coaches and a trip to Providence to visit the school, Broome found a home, deciding to become a Bear last week.
“It’s been…I’m just happy,” said Broome, who said he’s still waiting for formal admission to the school, though he and the coaches don’t believe that will be an issue. “To have this down, it’s been like I can just focus on other things and put that recruiting and stuff to the side, just enjoy the rest of my senior year.”
Broome, who said all the schools he was considering provided high-caliber academics as well as strong football programs, found that Brown met all his hopes when he visited the campus.
“I liked the environment,” Broome said. “It sort of reminded me of Potomac, had a Potomac-y feel to it. It was a little bit bigger, and I liked that it was in the city. I wanted to stay in an urban environment, so being able to stay in Providence was nice.”
Brown went 6-4 in 2013 and finished in the middle of the Ivy League standings. The Bears’ leading rusher, senior John Spooney (1,170 yards and 10 touchdowns) finished 21st in the country among FCS players in rushing yards.
“I’m so grateful for all the support of my parents and my Potomac teammates and coaches,” Broome said. “It’s a big weight lifted off me, I’m so happy to know I’ll be heading to Brown.”