Predicting Which Teams Will Make 5-Star DT Andrew Brown's Top 5

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIApril 18, 2013

Predicting Which Teams Will Make 5-Star DT Andrew Brown's Top 5

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    5-star Andrew Brown is the top defensive tackle recruit in the country, so naturally, getting into his top five is going to be a big deal.

    Brown checks in at 6'4'', 282 pounds, so he has great size, and he's ranked as the No. 1 defensive tackle in the 2014 class according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. He's also the No. 9 overall player according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. 

    Some of the best college football programs in the country are vying for his commitment.

    According to Brad Franklin of CavsCorner.com (Rivals), Brown is close to choosing a top five:

    "I think I'm closing in on my top five," he said. "Then I'm going to close in on my decision not too long after that."

    Earlier this year, Brown announced a list of 10: Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, Virginia and Virginia Tech. With a summer timeframe for announcing when he's trimmed that group in half, he maintains his long-stated desire to enroll early. So will he take official visits?

    It's also worth noting that Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and West Virginia are all listed as "warm interests" on Brown's 247Sports interest list.

    With all this in mind, here are the five schools that I predict will make it into Brown's top five (in no particular order):

Alabama

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    Alabama will make Brown's list simply because of the fact that it's Alabama.

    Do you see what those players are doing in the picture here? They are celebrating a championship win.

    That's something that's becoming commonplace at Alabama, and as long as Nick Saban is coaching and recruiting, the Crimson Tide will be in the running for elite recruits.

    Brown projects to be a defensive end in Alabama's 3-4 base, though he could probably play nose tackle if he was to put on some more weight. It will be interesting to see how Saban and his staff approach Brown's recruitment. 

    Either way, the chance to play at Alabama and compete for championships should be enough to get the Tide in Brown's top five. 

Clemson

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    If Brown wants to stay within ACC territory (which it certainly seems like he does), Clemson would provide him with a great opportunity.

    Dabo Swinney is an excellent recruiter and the Tigers should be very competitive within the conference. Brown could play the one or 3-technique in Clemson's defense, and he has the potential to be a marquee defensive lineman for the Tigers.

    Clemson also boasts a great home crowd and football atmosphere.

    Brown has visited Clemson and he had this to say about the visit, per Franklin of CavsCorner back in February:

    Brown came back on the radar somewhat this past weekend after taking a trip to Clemson. He returned home with a high opinion of the Tigers.

    "I got a chance to see everything, including the stadium and even the dorm I might be staying in if I went there," he explained. "I really loved it. I got to see everything I wanted to see. It's good too because they have my major, which is a big plus."

    Put everything together, and it looks like Clemson should be considered a major player for Brown, thus they make my cut. 

North Carolina

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    North Carolina may not be one of the in-state teams for Brown, but he's already visited Chapel Hill twice according to 247Sports, the last visit coming as recently as March. 

    Brown hasn't tipped his hand much in regards to his recruitment, so the fact that he's visited North Carolina twice is definitely worth reading in to. 

    North Carolina is known as a basketball school, but the Tar Heels do have a history of producing some big-time defensive lineman and sending them to the NFL.

    Some defensive lineman names to come out of North Carolina recently include defensive end Quinton Coples (Rd. 1, Jets, 2012), defensive end Robert Quinn (Rd. 1, Rams, 2011) and defensive tackle Marvin Austin (Rd. 2, Giants, 2011).

    Brown could be next on that list if he were to chose North Carolina. 

Virginia Tech

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    Brown alluded to wanting to be comfortable wherever he did end up, according to Franklin's most recent report on Cavs corner.

    In fact, here's the quote, per Frankin:

    Above all else, whichever school in that top 10 gets Brown's commitment, there will be one overriding consideration.

    "Me being comfortable," he said frankly. "That's it. That's the thing. I want to be comfortable wherever I go. I want to love where I go."

    Keep in mind that Brown is from Chesapeake, VA, so the in-state schools should end up being major players in his recruiting process.

    The Hokies boast a program with a pretty good national profile and they went out last cycle and recruited 5-star cornerback Kendall Fuller, so we know VT can be a draw with elite prospects. 

    Brown would be able to stay in-state where he would be comfortable and Virginia Tech is a great football school.

    The Hokies appear to be top five worthy.

Virginia

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    Charlottesville, Virginia, home of the Cavaliers, is only about two and a half hours away from Chesapeake, Virginia.

    The Cavaliers made Brown his first offer back in April of 2011, and he's visited Virginia seven times since, plus one camp (247Sports). 

    Franklin of CavsCorner asked Brown about his recent trip to Virginia:

    Now that he's had some time to process it, what stood out about the trip to Virginia?

    "I loved it, man," Brown said. "I was there with my cousin [UVa signee Corwin Cutler], I was there with all my 757 guys and everything, Smoke [UVa signee Taquan Mizzell] and [five-star 2014 commit] Quin [Blanding]. They're already committed and everything. It was real fun. Can't deny that."

    Brown has established relationships with Virginia players and the Cavaliers are recruiting him the most, according to Franklin's report. He's also interested in Virginia's audio engineering program, per Franklin.

    Frankly, it would be an upset of massive proportions if Virginia doesn't make it into Brown's top five.

Prediction: Virginia

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    It's hard to deny the advantage that the Cavaliers have right now. 

    He's visited the program a bunch, he could stay in-state, he could study audio engineering and he has established relationships with players already in the program.

    Four out of five recruiting experts have also predicted that Virginia will land Brown, according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball

    It appears as if Virginia is the heavy favorite to come away with the 5-star defensive tackle, so this is an easy prediction for me.

    Where do you think Brown will end up? Let us know in the comments section.

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