Orlando Brown Jr, a 3-star offensive tackle, is an interesting recruit because of his potential and there are three programs that will have a chance to work with that potential: Arkansas, Tennessee and Oklahoma.
Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Brown Jr. will announce his decision on May 2nd, with the decision coming down to the three aforementioned schools. He also reports Brown's thoughts on each program:
- Tennessee: “It’s definitely somewhere that I feel like home. It’s somewhere that I could see myself in a few years.”
- Arkansas: “I like Coach (Bret) Bielema’s past. He’s known for running that rock. One of my old teammates (at Peachtree Ridge) that I like goes there, Ray Buchannan. He will be a sophomore there next year.”
- Oklahoma: “I like Coach (Bob) Stoops. He’s a great coach, and Oklahoma puts a lot of offensive tackles in the league.”
According to Carvell, Tennessee "feels like home" for Brown Jr. and that's a great quote for Tennessee fans to hold on to.
If you look at his 247Sports timeline, you'll see that he's visited Tennessee twice in the past two months, and he's yet to visit either Arkansas or Oklahoma. With his decision coming up soon, that could be telling.
As far as Tennessee's depth is concerned, once 2014 rolls around, tackles Ja'Wuan James and Alex Bullard will be out of eligibility and Antonio Richardson will be a senior. Alan Posey and Kyler Kerbyson will be redshirt juniors .
The Volunteers' 2013 recruiting class did feature 3-star offensive tackle Austin Sanders (6'5'', 295 lbs.) and offensive lineman Brett Kendrick (6'5.5'', 295 lbs.), but Brown Jr. has a clear size and potential advantage at 6'7.5'' and 345 pounds.
Not only does he have tremendous size for just a rising junior, but he's also the son of late NFL great Orlando Brown, who tragically died at 40 years old due to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (per Andrea K. Walker of The Baltimore Sun).
Brown Jr's. size is a drawing point, but so is the NFL pedigree. Having a father who played in the NFL doesn't guarantee success for Brown Jr., but he already has the measurables and 42 offers (per Carvell) would suggest that he has the talent.
Coaches can work on fundamentals and technique with big linemen and turn them into stars as long as the intangibles are there. Coaches can't teach size, though, so Brown Jr. has an advantage considering he already has plenty of it as a rising junior.
Finally, factor in Butch Jones' hot start on the 2014 recruiting trail and the hyped-up vibe that's surrounding Tennessee's program. Brown Jr. would have the chance to be a part—maybe a big one—of a pretty cool rebuild.
He'd also get the chance to block for 5-star running back Jalen Hurd, and if you've ever seen Hurd's highlights, you'd know that blocking for him would be an honor for any offensive lineman.
All signs point to Tennessee being the best fit for Brown. Speaking of signs, all four of the experts that predicted where Brown will end up in the 247Sports crystal ball picked Tennessee.
Should Tennessee fans be gearing up for yet another big commitment?
I'll let you discuss that in the comments below.
Recruit rankings courtesy of 247Sports.com.