Brown, top prospect in U.S., coming to UT

Vols' class moves into top 10

Bryce Brown during a March 16, 2009, news conference, where he announced he will sign with Tennessee.

Photo by Wichita Eagle

Bryce Brown during a March 16, 2009, news conference, where he announced he will sign with Tennessee.

Bryce Brown selects Tennessee.

Photo by Wichita Eagle

Bryce Brown selects Tennessee.

Bryce Brown during a March 16, 2009, news conference, where he announced he will sign with Tennessee.

Photo by Wichita Eagle

Bryce Brown during a March 16, 2009, news conference, where he announced he will sign with Tennessee.

Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin secured a historic prospect when tailback Bryce Brown announced he would be a Vol on Monday.

UT touted the latest member of its 2009 class as the “highest-rated player to ever sign with Tennessee” in a news release.

Brown is rated as the top prospect in the nation by Rivals, the second-best by Scout and eighth-best by ESPN.

The Parade All-American rushed for more than 3,500 yards and 50 touchdowns in his last two high school seasons.

“We believe the addition of Bryce Brown improves an already great class,” Kiffin said in the release. “To be able to sign the No. 1 player in the country before we even play our first game speaks volumes for our great university and this coaching staff.”

Recruiting Brown to UT was a group project. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and running backs coach Eddie Gran led the charge, followed by Kiffin and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron.

Brown announced his decision at the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame on Monday afternoon.

“It’s like a roller-coaster ride,” Brown said of the recruiting process. “I didn’t expect for it to turn out like this but some things happened that I didn’t expect. We had to come up with an alternative plan, so that’s what we did.”

Brown committed to Miami in February 2008 but said at the time he’d still take all five of his NCAA-allotted official visits. While doing so, Miami made a change at offensive coordinator, which seemed to sour Brown on the Hurricanes.

Through an unnamed source, the Hurricanes said publicly in mid-February that they weren’t willing to wait on Brown and wouldn’t reissue a letter of intent if he didn’t sign within two weeks of National Signing Day on Feb. 4.

It’s unclear if Miami made good on its public ultimatum and withdrew its scholarship offer to Brown.

The highly touted tailback from Wichita (Kan.) East High School also considered Oregon, Clemson and LSU.

In retrospect, Brown tipped his hand when he took a visit to Knoxville last weekend and toured campus in a bright orange parka. He was greeted with chants of “Bryce Brown” by approximately 2,000 fans who watched the Vols practice in Neyland Stadium.

The addition of Brown elevated UT’s 2009 class to eighth in the nation and fourth in the SEC by Scout, and 10th in the nation and third in the SEC by Rivals.

That’s a vast improvement since National Signing Day when the Vols ranked 22nd in the nation and 10th-best in the SEC by both recruiting services.

Brown’s handler, Brian Butler, acted as the master of ceremonies for the press conference that began with a group prayer led by Brown’s pastor.

Brown thanked Butler for his help in the recruiting process. Butler is a self-described trainer and mentor.

The New York Times reported that the NCAA is investigating Butler and his association with several prospects, including Brown.

“Without you,” Brown said to Butler, “none of this would have been possible today.”

Brown made reference to his brother, Arthur Brown Jr., who was in attendance for the press conference as the “most important person to me.” The older brother is a linebacker at Miami.

“I know how bad he wants me to play at the University of Miami with him,” Bryce Brown said. “But he never put any pressure on me. He was always there to support me and that means a lot to me.”

Brown hinted that there was plenty of family pressure for him to play at Miami with his brother — especially from his mother.

“I just want to thank my dad for being the peacemaker in the house,” Brown joked.

Logic seemed to dictate that UT wouldn’t be able land both Brown and David Oku from Lincoln (Neb.) East High School. Oku committed to UT but, like Brown, didn’t sign his letter of intent until well after signing day — on March 5.

UT’s future at tailback seems solid. The Vols signed Toney Williams from Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga., as part of their 22-man, 2009 signing class.

Williams enrolled at UT in January and ran the ball well in Friday night’s scrimmage. UT recently signed two other highly rated tailbacks: Tauren Poole and Lennon Creer in 2008 and 2007, respectively.

Senior Montario Hardesty has been one of the standouts in spring practice.

Brown is thought to be the last undecided prospect on UT’s board for 2009. The Vols picked up three highly rated, post-signing day signees: cornerback Janzen Jackson from Barbe High School in Lake Charles, La., Brown and Oku.

Brown’s said his return trip to Knoxville was “very important” to his decision.

Brown’s first visit to UT in February left him unsure of the Vols’ offensive direction and he admittedly “didn’t have a good feeling” about UT.

Then came last week’s “surprise” visit. Rumors swirled that Brown would visit Knoxville but there was no confirmation until he showed up at UT’s practice.

Prognosticators wondered what chance the Vols had since Brown’s parents didn’t make either trip to Knoxville with their son.

Yet Brown found his answer via a premonition during his pre-visit prayer on his follow-up trip.

“I asked God before I went down there to reveal it to me,” the 6-foot, 215-pounder said. “When I first went down there, I really wasn’t feeling it. Before I left, I got the sign.

“That right then and there told me I would be a Volunteer.”

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Comments » 1505

ctownvol writes:

Now what can Brown do for UT?

TommyJack writes:

Yeah, babee!

tn_vol_67 writes:

Great Job !!!!!!!!!!!!

VolJoe writes:

go vols

mattucket#231689 writes:

Big time commitment and will generate some serious momentum for next year!

bsc819 writes:

We are gaining the momentum, the orange machine is coming back baby!!!!!!!!

KILLERxMOOSE writes:

http://goallineblitz.com/game/signup.... pretty fun football game GO VOLS

Txvol57 writes:

YEEESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jakethevolguy writes:

Alright, that's what I'm talking about. Welcome B.B. to the Big Orange Nation!!!

RockinTop writes:

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!

dwilds22 writes:

Great job coaching staff!

tnbigg writes:

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! All you neganannies (By the way nega nannies...were in Fulmers parade?)! eat it! Kiffin's forst recruiting class just gained big time! Hear the amn braggin' on Coach Kiffin? Hey gayters! You are the target! Can't wait to watch you morons consume crows by the trillions! Ha hahahahahahahah! Welcome to TENNESSEE YOUNG MAN!

Pops writes:

This really solidifies our 2009 class. Its also a referendum on Coach Kiffin and the new staff. Welcome to Knoxville Bryce

HallowedHill writes:

WOOHOO! Another cudos for Coach Kiffin and Crew!!

VolsUpsetYetAnother writes:

As Mills Lane would have said - LETS GET IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jandrew5 writes:

VOLS BABY VOLS>>>>>> Bryce Brown might be the most legit rb we have had this decade!!!!!!!!! new decade of dominance starts in 2010-20 ha.

cwbytruckers writes:

is that his luggage or his baggage i see!!!!!!!!

smashmouth98 writes:

I love it!!

ORANGE SWARM, REEL THEM IN!!!!!!!

utfpmd writes:

It's alive. ALIVE! Boohoohahahahahah!

FLVol writes:

I knew it! Reggie Bush 2 hopefully.

FWBVol writes:

This is a great addition no matter how you look at it. Brown is a power back and Oku is a slasher. We should be in good shape for at least the next three years.

Today is a day to celebrate the Big Orange while the interlopers express their jealousy.

Welcome aboard Bryce!!!

lowman4vols writes:

i watched it on live stream! sweet! kiffin is a go getter!

smokedoctor writes:

Time 2 smoke me 1.

letshave1more writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

AllVols4 writes:

My hat is off to Coach on this one for getting the staff together to even draw the interest of this guy in the short time he had much less get him to committ...Go get em ORANGE SWARM

jimr07 writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

what information do you have that would make you say that.

HallowedHill writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So you are confirming that Gator fans can't write?! Well, we already knew that. ...Just in... Gator fans can't predict either!

knoxvegas75 writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

lol idiot

Way to go Bryce, Were glad to see you made the right decission.

OrangeCrush writes:

How sweet it is!!!

With him and Oku in the backfield, who cares who our QB is!

Great decision young man, welcome to Big Orange Country!

NUCLEARORANGE5712 writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, they are going to find a very fired up team and some dang go coaches! GO VOLS WOO HOO!

tnbigg writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

RJ_Vol writes:

Bryce Brown is clad in ORAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANGE!

RoyaltyVol writes:

Bring on the Brown/ Oku show! GO VOLS!!

orangebass writes:

Get him on the field, cant wait for oku and brown show

UrbanStopCallingMe writes:

Does anyone know what this pickup will do to our final ranking with Scout or Rivals? Surely we have a top 10 class now.

Txvol57 writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hater!!! Already scared!! You know whats about to happen D-Bag!!!.....Little Urby Cryer is about to get is A** handed to him!!!

TommyJack writes:

in response to tnbigg:

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! All you neganannies (By the way nega nannies...were in Fulmers parade?)! eat it! Kiffin's forst recruiting class just gained big time! Hear the amn braggin' on Coach Kiffin? Hey gayters! You are the target! Can't wait to watch you morons consume crows by the trillions! Ha hahahahahahahah! Welcome to TENNESSEE YOUNG MAN!

Right on. I guess this proves that TN is the laughing stock of the entire U.S.!! Props to the staff.

KonaVol writes:

Really great news to open up so many pipelines of recruiting that Fulmer the master recruiter couldn't break into...I'm soooo excited about UT's future and seeing Brown's TD runs over and over and over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

batsman11#253306 writes:

Hell yeah!

MattMoore writes:

man our RB stable is gonna be nasty if half of these guys live up to their potential... I mean Hardesty, Creer, Brown, Oku, Poole, Toney Williams...etc

RJ_Vol writes:

in response to RoyaltyVol:

Bring on the Brown/ Oku show! GO VOLS!!

The hammer and the anvil!

jimr07 writes:

in response to FLVol:

I knew it! Reggie Bush 2 hopefully.

what makes you say that? do you have inside information or just jealous.

volnsc51 writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Speaking of roller coaster rides- You have to start taking your meds on a more consistent basis

Volchaz writes:

He said in the interview, that OKU was like his little brother.. Welcome home Bryce. A sign of things to come..
GOVOLS...

b16VOLster writes:

WooHoo!!! makes the basketball situation easier to deal with. Welcome to Big Orange country BB!!

Ironcity writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Butch I bet you dropped a turd when the news came down.

EHSvols23 writes:

(In the words of the Golden Throat himself, Verne Lundquist)

YESSSSSSSS SIR!!!!!!!!!

Orange Swarm

drum45 writes:

NCAA Probation is getting closer by the day!!!

letshave1more writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I guess you gator fans are all excited about playing in the NIT again! Two years in a row-now thats tradtion.
CBP is your daddy and CLK will be your daddy in three years....

bluetick writes:

ROCKY TOP! Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. They said it on volnation for the past week that he is signed and there will be a follow up interview with some guy there. They know their shiat over there thats a fact....too bad their site crashed due to too many people during the announcement. Go Vols. Now it is time to perform dude. You held everybody at bay and now its time to show what you got.

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