(Bryce) Brown out? Not according to Eagles

Embattled ex-UT player plans new start

The intriguing story of Bryce Brown — a story of failed promise — isn't over yet. It might, in fact, just be getting started.

Football fans in Tennessee and Kansas see Brown as an enigma, and for good reason.

The Philadelphia Eagles see a modest gamble with a nice upside.

Brown, the former top-ranked national recruit, former one-and-done Vol and former flop at Kansas State, will get a chance to chase his NFL dream after all.

The Eagles selected Brown in the seventh round last Saturday, the 229th pick of the 2012 draft, an investment based on potential rather than production.

"To have an organization go out on a limb for me, especially with the things that have been said about me, that means a lot,'' Brown said during an interview on the Eagles' website.

It was telling that the interviewer didn't even know enough about the off-the-radar Brown to have a clue what things might have been said about him.

"That I'm selfish, that I'm not committed to the team,'' Brown said, filling in the blanks.

"That's far from the truth … I'm all in with the team.''

He wasn't at Tennessee. After rushing for 460 yards as a freshman in 2009, he quit the following spring shortly after new coach Derek Dooley arrived to replace Lane Kiffin.

He wasn't at Kansas State. After sitting out 2010 with the Wildcats, he failed to crack the starting lineup in 2011 and quit in September, having gained 16 yards on three carries.

"He isn't the bad guy people are making him out to be,'' former adviser Brian Butler told the Kansas City Star in an interview prior to the draft.

"He is holding himself accountable for his decisions with all these teams.

He is training every day.''

Brown, who dropped out of Kansas State last winter, trained in Tennessee, Miami and his hometown Wichita, according to the Star.

His agent, Eric Armstead, said "more than 20'' NFL teams expressed some level of interest and that the Eagles, Lions and Chiefs held private meetings.

"Of all the teams and places I've gone,'' Brown told the Eagles' website, "I told my parents I felt the most comfortable in Philadelphia. It worked out fine.''

The Eagles were impressed that K-State coach Bill Snyder allowed Brown to participate in the school's Pro Day. They were further impressed when the 6-foot, 220-pound Brown ran a 4.37 40-yard dash.

"We spent a lot of time evaluating this kid,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid told reporters. "He's had kind of a wild ride through college football since being the number-one running back coming out of high school.''

That's an understatement.

Brown, who rose to fame at Wichita East High School, initially committed to Miami.

But then he signed with UT's new coach, Kiffin. In 2009, Brown played a prominent role in support of starter Montario Hardesty. His talent was obvious. His future in Neyland Stadium was bright.

But Brown would later claim he never fit in at UT. He failed to show up for spring practice under Dooley, then ultimately asked for his release to transfer to Kansas State for family-related reasons.

"My daddy made the decision, that it would be best if I came home, so I did,'' Brown told the Eagles' website.

Dooley denied the release. The Browns appealed and were again denied. Brown's father, Arthur Brown Sr., hired Knoxville attorney Greg Isaacs to help the cause but UT never budged.

In sworn affidavits presented by Isaacs to UT on the Browns' behalf, Bryce claimed depression and that he immediately realized Knoxville was too far from home.

He also claimed he didn't fit in with his teammates, citing "a range of activities" including the armed robbery involving fellow freshmen Mike Edwards, Nu'Keese Richardson and Janzen Jackson.

Without a release from UT, Brown was not able to receive athletic financial aid while he sat out per NCAA transfer rules, at Kansas State in 2010.

He was on scholarship to start 2011, alongside brother Arthur Jr., a linebacker, but quit with little or no explanation by the end of September.

"It just didn't work out,'' Brown said, "so I decided to leave and chase my dream to play at the next level.

"I did that and now I'm here.''

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said he pulled the trigger on Brown in the final round rather than get into an anticipated bidding war in free-agency.

"I spoke to a couple of teams,'' Roseman told reporters, "who said, 'why did you have to draft him?' and I kind of probed a little bit and it was because they thought they could get him as a free agent.''

Using a draft pick is a serious investment. The club did its homework.

"When you speak to Lane Kiffin, he just says this guy was going to be a star,'' Roseman said. "We spent enough time with him to get his full story and to feel comfortable with that.''

Roseman said the fact that Snyder allowed Brown to participate in K-State's Pro Day was significant.

"For him to be comfortable enough to have Bryce come back meant that he feels Bryce was very sorry for the way he handled things,'' said Roseman. "That meant a lot to all of us.''

Reid said offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg signed off on the pick, as did running backs coach Ted Williams.

"You're talking about a kid,'' said Reid, "who is an inch under 6 foot, and is 220 pounds and who runs a 4.4 forty.

"You're talking about tremendous, tremendous skills here. He catches the ball effortlessly and is a smooth, smooth runner.

"He has all the talent in the world. It's just a matter of trying things down here.''

It is an opportunity for which Brown is especially thankful in light of his sketchy portfolio.

"It makes me want to go out and work even harder for those guys and prove everybody wrong,'' he said, "and make them feel like they made the right decision.

"I'm not going to let anybody in that organization down.''

A couple of other organizations have heard that before.

Brown turns 21 in 9 days, an adult about to enter the professional world. They say a running back only has so many carries in him before the wear and tear break his stride.

In that case, Brown has one thing going for him: He's starting his new chapter with fresh legs.

Follow Mike Strange at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange

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Comments » 54

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

C'mon..what running back in his right mind wanted to run behind that lousy OL facing SEC talent on defense. We saw those 1 yard per games for the Vols. He was better off doing what he did. Bolt just like 7 coaches did last year.

clvolfan writes:

B..S!!!!

RoadTrip writes:

Difference between pro and college is that the pro's don't care about yesterday and school. They are about what you can do for them right now and down the road on the field. So it comes down to Bryce's head and heart. Is he willing to lay it on the line? He hasn't been willing in the past, but now he gets money to do so. Will see.

Myrtlevol writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

C'mon..what running back in his right mind wanted to run behind that lousy OL facing SEC talent on defense. We saw those 1 yard per games for the Vols. He was better off doing what he did. Bolt just like 7 coaches did last year.

Professionally and mentally handicapped, you're right. Thank you to the awful classes before Dooley got here. If they had of brought in some decent o-line players we may have had a better run game and Dooley could be perceived a better coach by a bunch of worthless haters always spouting off on here. Get a life dork! Good luck brown. Should have stayed and been a part of it.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

Who Cares? In other news my calf muscle is sore from playing golf yesterday....

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Good luck kid.

Observer43 writes:

"Arthur Brown Sr., hired Knoxville attorney Greg Isaacs to help the cause but UT never budged."

Enough said. Just because you have the phone number to the KNS doesn't make you a good lawyer.

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

in response to WetumpkaThumpa:

Who Cares? In other news my calf muscle is sore from playing golf yesterday....

Lol! +1. Thank the Great Pumpkin for dropping the ball in recruiting his last four years in his quest to skate through his golden years and fleece the University for all he could get for the least amount of work.

wildmed writes:

Hard to see this guy being successful at a tough sport when he obviously wasn't tough enough to cut it at two mediocre college programs. I think Herman Lathers laying the wood to Brown in his first practice was enough to make him wimp out. So does he think the pros are going to be any easier on him? A bust waiting to happen...

Vols20 writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So I guess Bill Snyder "screwed him up" too - huh? You know, it's not always the coaches fault.

nocleats writes:

"My daddy made the decision, that it would be best if I came home, so I did,''
Again, Bryce did not want to leave, but Tennessee refused to be strong armed into taking his older brother, this was Bryces dad revenge. He always thought (wrongly) that Coach Dooley would cave in. Bryce wanted to stay.

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Really? Who were the other examples?

givehim6 writes:

Thing I do not understand is how a guy like B.B. gets drafted but UT's own Austin Johnson has to go the free agent way.

VOLinMAHWAH writes:

Interesting that Knoxville was "too far from home," but Philadelphia is not. Maybe he'll buy daddy a house and a car and a Rolex and . . . to watch him get his head knocked off in the NFL.

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to givehim6:

Thing I do not understand is how a guy like B.B. gets drafted but UT's own Austin Johnson has to go the free agent way.

I bet Bryce Brown is as big a bust in the NFL as Brian Darden was a college bust for Tennessee.

Ironcity writes:

in response to orange_eVOLution:

I bet Bryce Brown is as big a bust in the NFL as Brian Darden was a college bust for Tennessee.

Its hard to be a big bust if your not suppose to make it. Strange kid.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

in response to orange_eVOLution:

Really? Who were the other examples?

I guess he could be referring to BJ Coleman? Oh wait, just kidding.

rkw2 writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just another example of a child with no talent who is screwed up...

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

Difference between pro and college is that the pro's don't care about yesterday and school. They are about what you can do for them right now and down the road on the field. So it comes down to Bryce's head and heart. Is he willing to lay it on the line? He hasn't been willing in the past, but now he gets money to do so. Will see.

Agree. It's time to put up or shut up. Dad ain't calling the shots anymore.

One of two things will happen. He'll either flame out or he may have finally found his motivation. He's gonna be paid - and paid well - to do what he does. That resonates with some people. If he indeed does have a career in the NFL, I hope he'll be smart enough to know it's only temporary...regardless of how good he really is.

ClassicVol (Inactive) writes:

in response to Salma_Hayek_is_my_Wife:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I've been telling people that we have a heartless QB here and they still want to put him on a pedestal.

He should never play another down at UT.

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

Total waste of a draft pick IMO even though it was a 7th round pick.

The SEC scared the phooey out of the kid and he was even a total BUST after he left Tennessee.

I think this is finally proof that the Eagles need a new GM and coaching staff.

I hope he plays against my Titans and we take his stupid head off.

VFL...GBO!!!

iowavol writes:

Could be another Arian Foster. Kid's got the size and speed. Father's not going to be the influence he was in college days.

FLVOL_79 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

C'mon..what running back in his right mind wanted to run behind that lousy OL facing SEC talent on defense. We saw those 1 yard per games for the Vols. He was better off doing what he did. Bolt just like 7 coaches did last year.

You sound like every Vandy RB recruit explaining their decision to go elsewhere.

VolGrad writes:

"Brown has one thing going for him: He's starting his new chapter with fresh legs."

Nice parting shot by Strange, whether he intended it or not. :D

What can Brown do for you? So far he is 0 for 2. But that's okay; I don't think he'll ever fail enough to catch PH.

Colliervol writes:

I could care less what happens to Bryce Brown. Just another of this "me" generation of athletes (and coaches) who could care less about the school they are at. As far as I'm concerned, he and Nukeese Richardson should be the poster children for Kibble's year in Knoxville. Lots of flash up front and a bunch of potential but not much substance. In hindsight, it was good that all three left quickly.

volwr88 writes:

Hard to believe he just turned 20. 7th Rd pick not necessarily a "stretch" for a "kid" with what I wud assume phenom potential. Unfortunately some young guys with "promoters" hanging on them at such a young age and a Dad who simply wants his boy closer to home before he gets "screwed up" (Brown mentions the robbery incident) There were a lot of expectations very early on for Brown and when "reality" set in and THE SEC challenged him (probably first time he had been truly hit that hard) his Dad said "come home" where I can keep up with you (not to mention Kiffin "bailing out").
And then KSU began with all the "expectations" again. As we saw last year, one can have all the skills but if you're only 18-19 years old, then there can still be maturity issues..

volforeverandever writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

C'mon..what running back in his right mind wanted to run behind that lousy OL facing SEC talent on defense. We saw those 1 yard per games for the Vols. He was better off doing what he did. Bolt just like 7 coaches did last year.

His head is screwed up.He listens not only to his dad but his advisor.He has been told he is great and that he is a star.Players from the team said he would not work at a high level and would just go though the motions.His dad wanted him home and at Kansas State and he did that.He would not work there either so he didn`t play.His dad and his advisor felt he was wronged and he quit.Our line had nothing to do with that.He has been told how great he is so he thinks all he has to do is show up and he will play.Add the fact he was being pulled in so many directions.He thinks he is better than he is.

volforeverandever writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He never played for Dooley.

Hound_Dog69 writes:

in response to Salma_Hayek_is_my_Wife:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I don't get losers like you who have no life, so you come to this site, when your obviously not a Vol fan, and post ignorant comments to get attention. Does your mommy know your awake at 3:49 in the morning little child ?

SevenT writes:

I guess he never drank the Doolaid, because he sure was in a hurry to leave as soon as Double D was named coach

VolGrad writes:

Okay, it was intentional by Strange. I just noticed the line he had in the Malik story:

"Brown will bring fresh legs to the Eagles. He gained 460 yards at UT but carried only three times at Kansas State before quitting the team."

This is Big Orange Country! Go Vols!!!

HallowedHill writes:

BB is a man-child. A boy in a man's body. His physical stats look great, but a close inspection of his behavior reveals the committment level of a child. I don't think there is any chance he can withstand the rookie hazing of the NFL veterans. My prediction is he will quit before September.

Hound_Dog69 writes:

in response to iowavol:

Could be another Arian Foster. Kid's got the size and speed. Father's not going to be the influence he was in college days.

This bum is not and never will be an Arian Foster! A.F. always was a good runner,who played with a lot of heart and was a team player, ball control was is major down fall in college. It looks like the NFL took care of that one fault. BB however, was and is lazy,has no heart, only cares about himself, and is scared to get hit. I would compare him to Maurice Clarett, who was as bad a football player as he was an armed robber.

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

C'mon..what running back in his right mind wanted to run behind that lousy OL facing SEC talent on defense. We saw those 1 yard per games for the Vols. He was better off doing what he did. Bolt just like 7 coaches did last year.

Tennessee always kicks the schit out of peeeeebody

Pompey writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

C'mon..what running back in his right mind wanted to run behind that lousy OL facing SEC talent on defense. We saw those 1 yard per games for the Vols. He was better off doing what he did. Bolt just like 7 coaches did last year.

....to the professional jerk; football seems to be a little too complex for you to grasp. Might want to consider another sport, one that won't embrass you every time you comment on it....!

etu_vol_fan writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The kid had no heart. It's not Dooley's fault on this one. I hope the kid grows up and turns it around. It's more of a maturity issue with him. I don't think he is a bad person but he has to get a little more heart and desire if he wants to do this for the next 10 years.

Wayfarer writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, Coach Dooley didn't screw him up...he never practiced nor played a down for Derrick Dooley. If you want to blame someone, you need to look west and blame the slimy guy at USC, Kiffin. The golden boy came to Knoxville promising these young men the moon then bolted the first chance he got. A lot of players he recruited paid dearly for his jumping ship and when you add in Bryce's Dad, well let's just say it made for a toxic mix for Bryce. I wish him luck because he has way behind other rookie RBs at this point. There is one thing for certain if he succeeds in the NFL it will be an amazing comeback story.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

C'mon..what running back in his right mind wanted to run behind that lousy OL facing SEC talent on defense. We saw those 1 yard per games for the Vols. He was better off doing what he did. Bolt just like 7 coaches did last year.

Yea right, its always better to be a quitter when things arent going your way instead of persevering through hard times. Throw in him quitting at K st and its not hard to see how much character he lacks. Had he actually stuck with UT, even with the Oline, he would be a much better RB and person.

VolGrad writes:

in response to Salma_Hayek_is_my_Wife:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You answered your own rhetorical question. "Da'Rick and Tyler are still on the team." Bryce is not still on the team, AND he couldn't hack it at KSU with Coach Snyder. He has excelled at nothing but quitting so far. Regardless of your obviously skewed perspective of Rogers and Bray, they have already outperformed the aforementioned Brown and continue to show signs of maturation. Bottom line: Tyler and Da'Rick are not quitters; they are still competing for Tennessee. No single mistake by either has undermined that.

Go Vols!

stroker writes:

in response to Myrtlevol:

Professionally and mentally handicapped, you're right. Thank you to the awful classes before Dooley got here. If they had of brought in some decent o-line players we may have had a better run game and Dooley could be perceived a better coach by a bunch of worthless haters always spouting off on here. Get a life dork! Good luck brown. Should have stayed and been a part of it.

Right on Myrtlevol!

stroker writes:

in response to givehim6:

Thing I do not understand is how a guy like B.B. gets drafted but UT's own Austin Johnson has to go the free agent way.

Read the article.

eb502us#225637 writes:

I guess Daddy Nose Best. Oh wait, he's running in today's Derby. Worth a bet on a long shot just like Bryce?

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

C'mon..what running back in his right mind wanted to run behind that lousy OL facing SEC talent on defense. We saw those 1 yard per games for the Vols. He was better off doing what he did. Bolt just like 7 coaches did last year.

Let me guess... your mommy took away your xbox so your taking your anger out on this post.

Whatcha do this time? whine too much for extra ice cream after dinner?

Huttdawg100 writes:

Dooley took a lot of slack for his handling of Bruce Brown. Vol nation got hammered by idiotic comments from K State fans. A few years later, everyone has seen how clueless and immature Bryce Brown is. I respect Snyder because he allowed Brown to participate in the K State pro day, something that most would not have done. Now Andy Reid and the Eagles will learn what fans of K State and Tennessee have known for a while.

LiveFaith writes:

in response to givehim6:

Thing I do not understand is how a guy like B.B. gets drafted but UT's own Austin Johnson has to go the free agent way.

Whadjathink, life is fair or something?

BSweet writes:

What happens when his dad wants him traded to the Chiefs? Do the Eagles give in or does Reid screw up BB's NFL career?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I remember Orang-geron chewing BB out for running out of bounds against hapless WKU..I knew right there he was a gutless punk..

PUL4VOLS writes:

Here's my question, if he makes it in the NFL will the KNS put an article in every time he carries the ball? No matter what happened how, he is no longer a Vol and many of us are good with that. I hope he makes the best of this opportunity but have a lot of reasons to doubt.

flatrock writes:

in response to Sammy_Burklows_Revenge:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are sick. And sad.

DannyVol writes:

in response to chuckfromwoodberry:

Lol! +1. Thank the Great Pumpkin for dropping the ball in recruiting his last four years in his quest to skate through his golden years and fleece the University for all he could get for the least amount of work.

Thank Coach Fulmer for a great 16 years as head coach and a national championship. The man was still winning the East in 2007 when all you bozos were complaining. The truth is, you got spoiled and have said so many utterly hateful and stupid things that it's too late to take them back. A nine or ten-win season would be pretty nice now, huh? But when he was giving you those it wasn't enough. Just like the clowns who ran off Stallings at Bama, Spurrier at Florida, Nutt at Arkansas, Cutcliffe at Ole Miss, and Meyer at Florida.

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