Tennessee picks up big OL

Orlando Brown Jr. had a special tutor when he chose Tennessee.

Brown, who committed to the Volunteers over Arkansas and Oklahoma on Thursday, knew where to go when he needed to brush up on his technique. He watched video of his late father, Orlando Brown Sr., facing off against some of the NFL's all-time greats.

"I watch it sometimes when I'm struggling," said Brown Jr., a 6-foot-8, 348-pound offensive lineman from Duluth (Ga.) Peachtree. "I watch the film when he played Reggie White and when he played guys like Jevon Kearse."

Brown Sr. was a standout offensive lineman for nine seasons in the NFL. He passed away in 2011 at age 40 from diabetic ketoacidosis.

"He'd definitely be proud," Brown Jr. said of his commitment. "He'd be proud for sure. At the same time he'd be pushing me like I wasn't being recruited. He would be really proud, I know that for sure, but he wouldn't let me know it."

The two play the same position and have similar size. At least it ended up that way. While Brown Jr. is now 6-foot-8 and 345 pounds. Brown Sr. was just 6-6 and 235 pounds when he came out of high school. Son would dwarf dad at the same age.

"From what his high school coaches tell me, I'm a lot better too," Brown Jr. said with a chuckle. "That's kind of tough for me to believe."

Brown Jr. used a patient, deliberate approach to his recruitment. He cut down his list every so often. Alabama, South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa were some of the most recent schools eliminated.

When asked about making an early decision, Brown Jr. said, "It will get me a chance to focus on another school year and my season. It's my senior season. I just feel like it's somewhere that's going to fit me. I want to make sure that my position is pretty much held down."

Like his father, Brown Jr. has the right mindset for the game.

"I would say my best asset is my size and my aggressiveness," said Brown Jr., who ended up with 40 scholarship offers. "That's what I'm good at. I understand the game. I understand my opponent."

Had he still been alive there would have been other opportunities for Brown Sr. to be proud of his sons. He has one son that is a standout basketball player in high school and another that is already learning the tools of the trade as a freshman offensive lineman.

Thursday, however, was about his eldest son.