DONALDSONVILLE, La. — There are few bonds quite like a mother and her son.
Claudine Brown and Stephen Sullivan are not related by blood, but you would be hard-pressed to figure that out based on Brown’s reaction when Sullivan put an LSU cap on his head and called for her and the family onto the Donaldsonville High School stage.
Sullivan choosing LSU over Mississippi State and TCU ended an arduous recruitment process, and the reason the 4-star wide receiver wound up committing to the hometown Tigers was simple: he needed his mother at his home games.
“It means the world to me,” Brown said of this moment Saturday night. “Stephen is a very humble, respectful young man. There is not a doubt in my mind he’s not going further.”
Sullivan might be, but for now he’s staying close.
Baton Rouge, La. is a short 45-minute drive to the LSU campus. And while Sullivan kept that in mind when committing to LSU on Saturday night, Brown was ready to travel anywhere in order to continue to support her son.
“It was important for me (to be at games), but it didn’t matter where he chose to go,” she said. “I made up my mind that I was going to travel to Texas or to Mississippi. I was glad with his choice. I’m very happy.”
Happy may not do it justice, as Brown believed the recruiting process took a toll on Sullivan.
LSU stood out as the easy choice — to both Sullivan and his mother — largely because of that home away from home feeling that both the receiver and his family continued to mention.
“I think it was hard for him to make a decision because it boiled down to three colleges he really liked,” Brown explained. “He really liked TCU and also Mississippi State, but I think LSU was the choice because it feel him feel like home.
“I didn’t know much about TCU and I heard a little bit about Mississippi State, but I actually got to visit LSU, so I saw more of the hands-on (stuff) with LSU. It was a good fit for him and the family, because the relationship with the players is like a family.”
More than anything, Brown is glad Sullivan’s decision has been made and he can continue to focus on the future.
“It was really hard for him and caused a lot of stress on him over the last few weeks,” she added, “so I’m glad that it’s over with now.”