Tae Brown

Ninety Six running back Tae Brown, center, signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play football at Ramah Junior College Academy in Rock Hill. Front row, from left, are stepfather James Dean, mother Letisha Nance, Tae Brown and brother Ryheem Brown. Back row: athletic director John-Mark Scruggs, coach Tripp Henderson, coach Gary Gillion, head coach Andre Woolcock, coach Ja’Quon Louden, coach Joseph Chaney, coach Adam Deal, coach Roy Lemmons and coach Kevin Latham.

NINETY SIX — As Tae Brown took his seat at the table in the Ninety Six gymnasium, his smile beamed.

The running back knew just how to put into perspective his special moment of signing a letter of intent Wednesday to play football at Ramah Junior College Academy in Rock Hill.

“I’m the first one in my family to do something big like this,” Brown said. “So, I am going to take advantage of this and just run with it. I’m very happy about this.”

Brown rushed for 993 yards on 115 carries this past season and also had 271 yards receiving and 11 total touchdowns. He hopes to play fullback in college.

“We used him as a Swiss army knife, and he was able to do all things for us,” Ninety Six coach Andre Woolcock said. “When you lose a kid like that, you have to dig deep and find someone in your program to replace his production. As of right now, I don’t know who that kid is, so I’m definitely going to miss him.”

Brown was joined by teammate Caljoul Gray during signing day. Gray is also headed to Ramah. Even though Brown understood the magnitude of his decision and the emotion that came with it, he is staying grounded.

“I really need to focus on school right now,” Brown said. “Just because it’s signing day doesn’t mean I can slack off in school. I still have to keep up my work.”

As for football, he plans on getting better in the weight room and working on his skills.

Woolcock found a spot for Brown at the junior college by being persistent, the coach said.

“Coach Woolcock sent him (the Ramah coach) my film,” Brown said. “He saw my film and said he was interested in me. He persuaded me to come to his college. I liked the way he was talking to me.”

Woolcock said the transition from high school to college will be a smooth one for Brown.

“He’s going somewhere where he can focus on football and academics, with academics being first,” the coach said.

Contact staff writer Greg Deal at 864-943-5647 or follow on Twitter @IJDEAL.