From the onset of Briar Woods offensive tackle Chase Brown’s recruiting process he knew what he was looking for in a school. A strong academic setting and a close enough proximity to home to his grandmother who lives in Winchester. Brown grew up in Winchester before moving to Ashburn last summer.

He got both of those in James Madison which is just an hour drive from his hometown. The Dukes offered Brown a scholarship on his initial visit June 15, and just five days letter he called recruiting coordinator John Bowers to give his verbal commitment.

“I really liked everything about the school,” Brown said. “The entire coaching staff and campus was great, and they had everything to offer for academics and football.”

He chose James Madison over a Monmouth offer, and he was receiving interest from Norfolk St., Rutgers, UConn, Marshall and Villanova.

Brown was thrust into the starting lineup at Briar Woods at left tackle due to a knee injury to Harvard signee Nick Merletti. He started the first three games last season. Brown said the pace of the program was a major increase from his former school Millbrook High where he only saw time in routs.

“At my old school it was like I was going 30 mph then coming to [Briar Woods] it was 100 mph,” Brown sasid. “It was like playing college football pretty much, everything was faster moving and more difficult.”

The 6-foot-4, 290-pound lineman is fully adjusted now and is participating in spring and summer workouts with the Falcons. He missed both workout periods due to transferring in August.

Brown said he wants to lose about five pounds for his senior season and lists a fifth straight state championship appearance as a goal for this season.

RELATED: Football Recruit Watch with offers, committments and signings