19991617-jpg

KELIJIHA BROWN


Saluda defensive lineman Kelijiha Brown committed to Wake Forest late Wednesday night, choosing the Demon Deacons over in-state South Carolina.

In addition to Wake Forest and South Carolina, Brown had offers from Colorado State and East Carolina, and he drew interest from Appalachian State, Clemson and North Carolina.

In a message posted to Twitter, Brown said, “First, I would like to thank every institution that offered me a chance to fulfill my lifelong dreams both academically and athletically at their universities. After a long and thoughtful process with the help of God and my family I have decided to further my education and football career at Wake Forest University. I am forever grateful for all of the love and support during this process.”

Brown, a junior listed at 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, had 27 tackles and three sacks at the nose guard position during last year’s regular season but also played offensive line.

Brown is a three-star prospect and the No. 8 defensive tackle in the state, according to 247Sports.

“They’ve been working hard,” Saluda coach Stewart Young said of Wake Forest’s recruiters. “They came to a basketball game and that really impressed (Brown). There were two coaches there on a weeknight, watching him play basketball in January. That really impressed him.”

Wake Forest now has four commitments lined up for the 2018 class, including a pair from South Carolina. Wide receiver Zion Keith, a defensive back from Wilson High School, committed to the Demon Deacons earlier this month. Keith is also a three-star recruit.

Last year, Wake Forest won five of its first six games, then dropped five of its final six games of the regular season. Wake Forest salvaged its season with a 34-26 win over No. 24 Temple in the Military Bowl to finish 7-6.

Contact staff writer David Roberts at 864-943-2530 or follow on Twitter @IJDavidRoberts