Bryce Brown finally ended the extra-long soap opera that his signing had turned into on March 16. After committing to Miami, his recruitment was still wide open.
Among his suitors were Oregon, Kansas State, LSU, Miami, who may or may not have retracted the offer, and Tennessee, who he decided to sign with.
One of the reasons he decided to go with Tennessee over the others was that he felt they would get him to the NFL. He stated, “I thought they were the best school to prepare me for the next level."
I had to laugh at that a little bit.
I concede that Tennessee and the SEC will get him more exposure, that is, if Tennessee can turn their program around.
But let's take a look at some numbers.
Tennessee has had one player run for 1,000 yards in the last four seasons.
Kansas State has had one.
LSU has had two, both in the last two seasons.
Miami has had zero.
Oregon has had three, all in the last two seasons.
Based on this alone, I would have picked either LSU or Oregon.
Among last years rushing leaders, Oregon’s Jeremiah Johnson was No. 28 and LeGarrette Blount was No. 53.
Charles Scott from LSU was No. 30.
Graig Cooper from Miami was at No. 66.
Neither Kansas State nor Tennessee had a running back in the top 125.
Again, points for Oregon and LSU.
As a team, Oregon had the second-ranked rushing attack.
LSU came in at 43.
Kansas State was 77, and Miami was right behind them at 79.
Of all four schools, Tennessee came in behind everyone at 89.
I’m really not seeing his side of this.
One last thing to look at.
In the 2008 draft, Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart was picked in the first round at 13.
LSU running back Jacob Hester was picked in the third round at 69.
Only Kansas State had a running back drafted in 2007. He was selected in round six.
LSU had a first-round running back in 2006.
In 2005, Miami had a third round running back and Kansas State had one picked in the fourth.
In the sixth round of 2005, Tennessee running back Cedric Houston was selected by the New York Jets.
To be fair though, not every school has a draft-eligible player each year.
Going into the upcoming draft, don’t be surprised if Tennessee, LSU, Miami and Oregon all have a back drafted.
It seems to me that all the schools produced fairly comparable number of backs for the last few years.
With all that considered, it is my opinion that LSU or Oregon would have been better choices for Brown to get to the NFL.
Interesting side note, along with playing LSU in SEC play, Tennessee also hosts Oregon in 2010.