Tennessee continues to thrive during the 2014 recruiting process, as Orlando Brown Jr. is the most recent player to announce his commitment. Wes Rucker of 247Sports.com reported the news of the talented offensive lineman becoming a member of the Volunteers community.
Wes Rucker @wesrucker247
6-8, 350-pound O-line prospect Orlando Brown has committed to Tennessee. Here's his 247Sports profile: http://t.co/SYKroQeriu5/2/2013, 7:12:00 PM
Brown Jr. confirmed the decision on his 17th birthday. Fans and supporters were showering him with good-luck wishes before he made his decision.
Gary Ruble @sports_daddy65
@ZEUS__78 Happy B-day Big Guy, miss ya & you'll always be a #OneDeMatha - Good Luck w/ today's decision!!5/2/2013, 1:19:32 PM
Considered only a 3-star player by 247Sports, Brown Jr. isn't the typical recruit you would usually get excited over.
However, when you mention that his father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, played nine years in the NFL on the offensive line, you immediately begin to change your tune. This likely played a role in why he had offers from all of the elite programs, including Alabama, Notre Dame, Florida and Michigan.
Standing at 6'8" and weighing in at 350 pounds, Brown Jr. clearly has the frame to play with the big boys. In fact, according to the National Football Post, he has struggled with weight throughout his life, coming in at an insane 450 pounds in eighth grade.
Still, with the bloodlines and college-ready size, this is a big pickup for the Volunteers. The potential is clearly there for him to be a productive player and prove that those three stars don't mean much.
Landing Brown Jr. is just another recruit head coach Butch Jones and his staff can be thrilled about. Picking up where it left off last season, Tennessee has made its impact felt early on in the recruiting process. In the month of April alone, the Volunteers have snagged wide receivers Kameel Jackson and Lawrence Lee, tight ends Daniel Helm and Ethan Wolf, as well as cornerback D'Andre Payne.
Now with 12 verbal commitments, Tennessee is considered to have the third-best recruiting class in the country by 247Sports, behind only Texas and Texas A&M. Not bad for a head coach who hasn't even coached one game for this program.
Brown Jr. is now the second offensive lineman in this class alongside Coleman Thomas.
If this momentum can continue to build for Tennessee, turning things around will be a lot easier than expected.