Brown saga might be nearing end

A meeting looming with Coach Dooley

Tennessee running back Bryce Brown (11) pounds the ball against Memphis linebacker Jamon Hughes (36) and Memphis defensive back Alton Starr (7) on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009 at Neyland Stadium.

Photo by Joe Howell

Tennessee running back Bryce Brown (11) pounds the ball against Memphis linebacker Jamon Hughes (36) and Memphis defensive back Alton Starr (7) on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009 at Neyland Stadium.

Bryce Brown

Photo by Jaime Oppenheimer/The Wichita Ea

Bryce Brown

Like just about everybody else, Luke Stocker has no clue how the Bryce Brown Saga will end.

All the Tennessee tight end can be sure of is what exactly has been missing from the story.

By just about every account, Brown, the former No. 1 recruit in the country, would be welcomed back by the Vols should he decide to return - and a verdict could be out as early as Monday. But if Brown does rejoin the team, he'll do so without the benefit of spring practice, a summer of sprints up Locust Street or the brutal workouts from strength coach Bennie Wylie that have chiseled the Vols.

"I mean, you could go (into the season without it)," Stocker said. "But you're not going to be where we're at.

"We've been through a lot, and I don't know what Bryce has been doing back home as far as staying in shape and stuff, but if he comes back, he's going to be a little behind."

That begs the question of whether Brown might be better suited sitting out a season whether he transfers or not, though it would seem unlikely given his role as a true freshman a year ago that UT would hold him out all year.

Based on comments from coach Derek Dooley at SEC media days on Friday, the expected outcome from a looming meeting with Brown still seems to be him asking for a release. But as has been the case for months, nobody is entirely sure what's going on with the running back, including the teammates who would be signing off on his return.

"I heard he was coming to town, then I heard he wasn't coming to town, then somebody told me he was in town," Stocker said. "This is all going like a riddle. Who knows what Bryce Brown is going to do next? I hope Bryce makes the best decision for himself and his family. If he comes back, he'll be welcomed back.

"Bryce has missed a lot, and he'll have to earn his stripes back. Like I said, when he gets back, he'll be welcomed back as long as he puts forth the effort to be a good teammate."

If Brown chooses a different option and presumably heads to Kansas State, the UT roster won't really be in any worse shape since it hasn't included him in months.

And in terms of physical shape, Wylie has taken care of that part and helped the Vols forge strong personal bonds in the process. Brown can't get that back, but UT doesn't appear opposed to letting him try to catch up.

"I mean, we're a family," Stocker said. "(Dooley) doesn't make decisions without talking to the family. A family doesn't go buy a house without talking to everybody about it.

"He definitely doesn't want to mess up the chemistry as a team, he knows how close we are as a team and how much we've built through this offseason. He doesn't want to bring someone in that we feel like is going to mess up the chemistry."

For now, that experiment still isn't necessary. All Stocker and the Vols have to worry about is making it one more week with Wylie.

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Comments » 89

Vol_FAN_atic writes:

Oh boy! here we go again!!!

It doesnt make sense that he hasnt even asked for a release yet this late in the year.

It almost seems like he is trying to find the path of least resistance. Either way he has done himself no favor waiting this long no matter where he goes.

???????

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

I like the comments about the team; good to read. AS for Brown?? Kid, you are really messing up your life. Hate to tell you, but you are a LONG way from being special.

Want special?? Simply watch film or Montario form last year. Know where you are headed?? To Jay Graham/Arian Foster world. Tons of potential, but just can't seem to 'get-right'.

Either get your butt back to UT, or get somewhere and do your job. If your heart isn't into football, that's fine, too. Just quit ambling along like you don't have a clue.

MikeInTN writes:

This too shall pass!!!!

Vols20 writes:

Let me first say that I don't know Bryce Brown personally, but I do have an opinion based on how he has handled himself as a college prospect and athlete. I think he is probably a good person, but thinks that he is a little bit better than everyone else. I really hope that he does decide to take this circus act to K-State. He wants ALL the attention and ALL the focus to be on him, and I am sick of hearing about him.

"Giiiiit on outa here, boy!"

nocleats writes:

If the players would welcome him back, why wouldnt we? Do we know more about it than the team?

Hillbilly_Orange writes:

If Bryce comes back that will be fine. If Bryce doesn't come back that will be fine also. Poole will be the featured back anyways. The Vols will suit up & play hard either way! I like the path CDD is leading these young men down. It will surely pay off in the near future. With or without Brown I say GO VOLS!!!!!!

huntined#565710 writes:

I hope he does come back work his tail off and make us a great runner for the next three years. he has the talent just needs the right coaching and direction in his life. I have never heard or seen where he was not a great kid.

manoffewwords writes:

Hope he stays a VOL.

ChuyitoDawg writes:

I hope Brown comes back and ruins the chemistry on your team. Hopefully he becomes a cancer on your team and maybe get into fight in the sidelines with another player or coach.

Before I get some hell from you guys let me say that I am just kidding. But if you really think about it, this very well could be the case. You know a good portion of your players have a negative perspective of this kid. This could create a divided locker room.

Good luck to UT and this kid. You guys need to stop giving this kid hell. He was screwed by Lame and now he is paying the consequences.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to ChuyitoDawg:

I hope Brown comes back and ruins the chemistry on your team. Hopefully he becomes a cancer on your team and maybe get into fight in the sidelines with another player or coach.

Before I get some hell from you guys let me say that I am just kidding. But if you really think about it, this very well could be the case. You know a good portion of your players have a negative perspective of this kid. This could create a divided locker room.

Good luck to UT and this kid. You guys need to stop giving this kid hell. He was screwed by Lame and now he is paying the consequences.

Yea, I would like to hear what the real persons that matter think. Poole,
Williams, and Oku

Volsrbest writes:

I think Kiffin was in on this from the beginning and the plan was to bring Bryce to USC. Now that they are on probation, I think Bryce has re-thought the situation and hopefully decides to stick with his original commitment and be a career Vol. Like the other posters on here feel, we'll be fine with him or without him.

Go Vols!!

txvolsfan writes:

in response to ChuyitoDawg:

I hope Brown comes back and ruins the chemistry on your team. Hopefully he becomes a cancer on your team and maybe get into fight in the sidelines with another player or coach.

Before I get some hell from you guys let me say that I am just kidding. But if you really think about it, this very well could be the case. You know a good portion of your players have a negative perspective of this kid. This could create a divided locker room.

Good luck to UT and this kid. You guys need to stop giving this kid hell. He was screwed by Lame and now he is paying the consequences.

Bryce has never been and never will be a cancer. He was a great teammate and will be a great team mate if he comes back. He is really a great kid and great in the classroom also.
Keep wishing and we will keep crushing the Puppies by 30 points every year until you get rid of your cancer.(Richt)

CarbonCopy (Inactive) writes:

Just a kid, it's the middle aged men that talk about it until their tounges hang out that makes me laugh. Be honest, most fans could give a phooey about the choices of a young black man unless it's related to sports or crime.
These kids are just modern day gladiators in the ring for the amusement of the Romans
So........thumbs up or down countrymen?

littleorange writes:

Hopefully still a Vol....if not best wishes.

kd45music writes:

Hey, he's a kid. And kids sometimes get bad advice and end up being totally confused. He still seems to be a decent young man and he'd be an asset if he stays, but I applaud Coach D for moving on. That's what you have to do as a coach.

VolFanNC writes:

I don't care at this point. I just want this distraction to end. I like this team right now, they have an us against the world mentality. I don't want to see someone else come in and expect to get reps.

If Bryce comes back...great. Hopefully he will work his a__ off and be a contributor by game 3 or 4. If not, at least this drama will be over.

ncvol17 writes:

Take him to a team dinner in Fountain City at LITTON's. After a piece of their homemade pie, he'll never leave town..Brother, whenever I return to K-town I eat like it was 1975........

sjackson#227599 writes:

This is another recruiting rankings blunder. Bryce Brown is simply not that good - there is no way he was the best running back coming out of high school last year. If he stays at UT he will at best be an average performer.

voloffaith writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Go read my response to your post on Wilcox story if you will sir.

On topic, this is like the fair on the merry-go-round wondering where and when it will stop. I can't see him coming back with so much ground to make up physically and emotionally with the team. IF he came back humbly and asked his coaches and staff to forgive his selfishness and asked what it would take to be part of the team I think all would work out good for all in the long haul.

GreerVol22 writes:

Oku is still better...

voloffaith writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

SUGGEST REMOVAL OFF TOPIC AGAIN!!!

GerryOP writes:

Dooley'll handle it.

41 -- Fear The Dooley Dude...

GerryOP writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Off topic... Please remove...

Vol737 writes:

I have no doubt that Dooley is letting Bryce Brown think he's in control of his situation. If BB stays, he'll be riding the pine. Dooley has already made up his mind how he will handle BB no matter what he decides. I don't think you play this kind of a game with a guy like Dooley and NOT pay for it one way or another. Tauren Poole should have played ahead of BB anyway last year. He and Oku will be fine with a little help up front.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe you should have made a bigger COMMITMENT to spelling class.

Stepchild_nFL writes:

Weren't we talking about timing of someone else that use to be on this team?

gohawks1 writes:

Really don't care either way - lost interest in him long ago.

Stepchild_nFL writes:

in response to Vols20:

Let me first say that I don't know Bryce Brown personally, but I do have an opinion based on how he has handled himself as a college prospect and athlete. I think he is probably a good person, but thinks that he is a little bit better than everyone else. I really hope that he does decide to take this circus act to K-State. He wants ALL the attention and ALL the focus to be on him, and I am sick of hearing about him.

"Giiiiit on outa here, boy!"

I think you are talking about his father. Bryce is just a victim of circumstance. The handler, Miami, his brother, Kiffen. Its all phooey and I don't think its Bryce. Someday he will get to think for himself. Lets give him a break and our support. With that being said, I would love to see him under Dooley's tutorage and see what kind of man he becomes. GB Bryce.

ellerbee123 writes:

Let him go.. We have Poole.

jobrando#216494 writes:

Transfer to Vandy and get a good education you'll need it.

VolWoman writes:

I hope Bryce does what he wants and not just what his dad wants. From everything I've heard and read, he's a great kid and student so I'll wish him well either way.

It's pretty obvious to me that CDD understands the father situation and that's why Bryce still has UT as an option.

alvol writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I see the five yr old is back.

westennvol writes:

I think BB is probably a really good kid, but like most 19 yr olds, a little arrogant and immature. Good luck to him whatever he does.

OrangePride writes:

Whatever! Bryce has turned himself into such an afterthought that there isn't one person in Knoxville who isn't fed up with the entire saga. Frankly, he's missed so much that if he did come back, I'd red shirt him the entire year and let him catch back up and work his way back in. And oh BTW........does anyone think he is going to just walk on to K State or any other Division 1 team and just take over? He will be an afterthought wherever he goes at this point. If you've ever been a part of these spring/summer workouts then you KNOW just how far behind you get when you don't attend. Add in the meetings and informal 7 v 7's and your hopeless. So as I said. Whatever. He won't provide much help even if he stays. As for the rest of this team? GO BIG ORANGE!!!

SEC__Headgear writes:

in response to Stepchild_nFL:

I think you are talking about his father. Bryce is just a victim of circumstance. The handler, Miami, his brother, Kiffen. Its all phooey and I don't think its Bryce. Someday he will get to think for himself. Lets give him a break and our support. With that being said, I would love to see him under Dooley's tutorage and see what kind of man he becomes. GB Bryce.

So true. BB has been mishandled and misguided. He is a talent that can be salvaged and he has the opportunity to stay in a program that can do that. It is best for him to work his way back to acceptance with this team. shoulda,woulda,coulda though...

VolGrad writes:

Tauren Poole is the main man in the Tennessee backfield this year either way. Brown would find himself initially listed at about 4th on the depth chart if he returned.

nocleats writes:

Bryce should go where a school is going to run the ball alot. He should go play for a coach who is committed to running the ball and will install a pro type offense that is run oriented. Kinda...like Coach Dooley and Tennessee are going to do.

FearThisElephant writes:

Dang. Inside information about the UT football team printed right before your eyes and nobody comments on it.

"I mean, we're a family," Stocker said. "(Dooley) doesn't make decisions without talking to the family. A family doesn't go buy a house without talking to everybody about it.

"He definitely doesn't want to mess up the chemistry as a team, he knows how close we are as a team and how much we've built through this offseason. He doesn't want to bring someone in that we feel like is going to mess up the chemistry."

Powerful stuff there. Learn to pay attention to the small stuff. It creates ink in the "W" column. As the keyboard turns....

txvolsfan writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

and?

WashYourDirtyVols (Inactive) writes:

Honestly unless his head is on right then we can't afford to have him on the team right now. Our players don't have enough experience or depth as it is now, lets not take away their unity as well

JamMasterJ writes:

I met Bryce a few months ago, and he is a great kid. I know he likes it here. Hence, no request for a release. He is torn between family and his wishes. I hope he and Dooley can come up with an agreeable solution since the team agrees to have him back.

d_ray writes:

Brown? Who is he? Oh....he is the guy who could not start as a freshman, then did not show up for Spring practice. Therefore, he is no one now. Number one RB in the nation? ..... I doubt it !! Number one ego in the nation? .... probably.

CarbonCopy (Inactive) writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I rest my case

OrangePride writes:

in response to VOODOOley:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm not sure I question the young man's courage or willingness to take a lick. Seemed to me he took plenty of them and still ran hard. Once he was corrected on that OB play, I never saw him do it again, so we might just chalk that up to a teachable moment. More to the question is his commitment and desire to be on this team. And I agree with a lot of the other posts that he has received a ton of questionable advice and direction. But make no mistake..this kid has talent! Unfortunately, it takes more than just talent to become a great running back in the SEC. And its that other stuff that right now is in question. We'll see how it all works out. Either way, Tennessee will be fine. GBO

Bigger_Al writes:

I hope he comes back, gets to work, and makes the most out of his talent.

OrangePsyched writes:

in response to CarbonCopy:

I rest my case

And you lost...next case. I also think Bryce is getting a lot of pressure from his dad and brother. I believe that he is a good young man and if he goes wish him the best and if he stays he is a Vol. After tomorrow however I hope we can end this drama for good either way. ROCKY TOP!

mrvol2u writes:

in response to txvolsfan:

Bryce has never been and never will be a cancer. He was a great teammate and will be a great team mate if he comes back. He is really a great kid and great in the classroom also.
Keep wishing and we will keep crushing the Puppies by 30 points every year until you get rid of your cancer.(Richt)

Could not agree more. Class kid in a tight spot trying to please too many people. He would like to return to UT but father wants him at KSU. He will have to make the decision and live with the consequences.

Good luck to you either way. Just remember it gets a lot colder on the plain.

newvolfan writes:

Bryce's girlfriend who moved here to be with him is now working and living in Kansas, so don't let a request for a release surprise you.

pridebone writes:

in response to ncvol17:

Take him to a team dinner in Fountain City at LITTON's. After a piece of their homemade pie, he'll never leave town..Brother, whenever I return to K-town I eat like it was 1975........

Maybe I'm not a good Knoxvillian. I heard so much about Litton's. Moved to Halls for a few years and was excited to get to eat at Litton's on a regular basis. Ended up going there about 3 times. Never was impressed. Desserts, Burgers, Specials, it was all mediocre or "above average," never anything to write home about.

boogimn3 writes:

in response to CarbonCopy:

Just a kid, it's the middle aged men that talk about it until their tounges hang out that makes me laugh. Be honest, most fans could give a phooey about the choices of a young black man unless it's related to sports or crime.
These kids are just modern day gladiators in the ring for the amusement of the Romans
So........thumbs up or down countrymen?

These "black...gladiators" are extremely fortunate to be "entertaining" us in return for a soft life at a major university getting a free degree ( notice I didn't say education, you actually have to go to class and pass tests for that) instead of living on the streets and in prison...Too bad many of them can't even manage that...

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