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Northwestern football 2017 National Signing Day profiles: Defensive end Earnest Brown IV

The top-rated recruit in the class can bring some heat off the edge.

@ErnieBIV on Twitter

Quick Hits

POSITION: Defensive End

HEIGHT: 6-foot-5


HOMETOWN: Denton, Texas






OTHER OFFERS: Illinois, Ohio State, Baylor, Colorado, Colorado State, Duke, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, North Texas, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulane, Tulsa, Vanderbilt

MORE: 247 profile | Hudl | Twitter


Brown IV is Northwestern’s highest-rated recruit in the class, and he is thoroughly deserving. After committing to Northwestern over a host of impressive potential suitors in late March, Brown IV was knocked down to a three-star recruit. He picked up an Ohio State offer after committing and took a visit to Columbus, but he remained steadfast in his commitment to Pat Fitzgerald’s program.

Brown earned an invite to the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl, where he recorded a monster sack and earned high marks from evaluators. The performance also bumped him back up to a four-star recruit. From 247:

Brown IV has terrific burst off the snap and uses his quickness to get past guards, often only requiring only a simple swim move. He played as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 formation in high school but looks more the part of a 4-3 end at the college level. While Brown IV is mainly reliant on his quickness, he shows impressive strength, too (see the 1:04 mark of the highlight video as an example). He also has a really impressive motor, doesn’t quit on plays and reads running plays well, showing a knack to get to the ball-carrier in the backfield.


With C.J. Robbins and Ifeadi Odenigbo both graduating, there should be room to make an impact behind presumed starters Joe Gaziano and Xavier Washington. Brown IV is tall, long and athletic, and though power isn’t his calling card, he shows that he can hold up against the run. He brings some serious heat off the edge, and with Northwestern’s best pass rusher gone, the Wildcats, in all likelihood, will be looking to get Brown IV on the field as soon as possible.