Offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. (Duluth, Ga./Peachtree Ridge) is used to getting a lot of stares. He knows his 6-foot-8, 370-pound frame is going to draw a lot of slack-jawed, wide-eyed gawkers. The gentle giant just rolls with the looks, even going so far as to make jokes about the rubber-neckers. He recently tweeted, “People look at me like snow in the south!! Surprise!!”
Brown, who appropriately enough is nicknamed "Zeus", explained his tweet this way.
“I walk around school land people look at me like that,” Brown said. “I get a lot of attention. Everywhere I go people think I am some famous athlete or something. They are used to seeing country boys but they don’t see anyone with my style -- from the way I dress to my height. It is kind of weird, but it’s also pretty fun, pretty cool.”
He certainly has the attention of college coaches. Brown is a red-hot target on the recruiting trail with a list of offers that reads like a who’s who of top college programs. He has verbal offers from eight of the top 10 schools in the AP Top 25.
“Right now I have 35 offers,” Brown said. “I really don’t have a top group right now. They are all big schools so I am pretty interested in all of them in the same way. I have Bama, Southern Cal, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame and schools like that and they are all pretty big. It just makes me work harder every day.”
Brown is justifiably proud of his offer list and when asked if there was a school from which he is still waiting to hear, Brown thought about it and said no.
“I don’t really have one,” Brown said. “I feel like I am being recruited by every school that I want to be recruited by for right now.”
One of those schools that would like to sign the mammoth junior is the University of Georgia. Brown recently attended the Bulldogs’ contest against Vanderbilt.
“It is a pretty good school with a nice campus but I really didn’t get a chance to check out all of that,” Brown said. “I did get a chance to check out the football facilities and talk to Coach [Mark] Richt. We really didn’t talk much about my recruitment. We spoke about the opportunity that I had in going there, becoming a pro and what they can make me into as a player. Their offensive line is pretty good. You can see they all play together and that is one of the reasons Todd Gurley had so many yards because he is able to find those creases they make. They are pretty good up front.”
Brown approved of the facilities as well, especially since much of them are designed with the plus-size figure in mind.
“The facilities were awesome,” Brown said. “In the SEC, you can definitely see the differences between those schools and those in the Big Ten. Unless it is Ohio State because that is the only one from up north I have been to so far that looks pretty good. That is the one that looks the most SEC-like of the schools that I have seen.”
Another aspect of the Bulldogs’ program stood out to the offensive tackle.
“At Georgia they do this boxing thing to get them in shape with their hands and footwork and things like that and that is pretty cool,” Brown said. “I liked that. I know it will definitely get your punch right. It seems pretty cool but I know it is tiring.”
As for any other visits, Brown has not settled on a schedule yet.
“I am not sure where I am going to visit next,” Brown said. “I went to the Auburn/Clemson in the Georgia Dome but that was it.”
In the meantime, Brown will likely continue to pick up offers and awards. Recently he was named to the ESPN Watch List for the class of 2014.
“Being on the Watch List, especially it coming from ESPN, that is really big and really exciting,” Brown said. “To be in the top 300 out of tens-of-thousands of high school football players is pretty cool. You get a lot of attention from all kinds of people and you get a lot of respect from a lot of people. That is definitely going to brighten my day.”
Just like a snow day would.