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KNOXVILLE — Orlando Brown did the giving on his 17th birthday.
The big offensive lineman from Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Ga., became the 12th commitment in Tennessee’s 2014 recruiting class when he announced for the Volunteers on Thursday afternoon at a ceremony at his school.
Nicknamed “Zeus,” the 6-foot-8, 345-pounder is rated as a consensus three-star prospect, but he has an impressive offer list that includes 11 Southeastern Conference schools — Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Georgia, among them — and other big-time programs such as Ohio State, Texas, Michigan, Florida State, Miami, Clemson and Southern California.
The teammate of four-star Georgia defensive back commitment Nick Glass, Brown took two visits to Tennessee in recent weeks. He has NFL bloodlines from his father of the same name who played 129 games in a 12-year span at offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. Brown’s dad took a penalty flag to the eye from a referee with Cleveland in 2000, returned after temporary blindness caused him to miss three seasons, retired in 2005 and died in Baltimore in September 2011.
Brown is the second offensive lineman committed to Tennessee’s 2014 class, joining versatile Virginia three-star Coleman Thomas. Four of the Vols’ top six linemen are seniors this season, and it’s likely left tackle Antonio “Tiny” Richardson could jump to the NFL draft after his junior season. Tennessee signed three offensive linemen, including Bradley Central’s Austin Sanders, in its 2013 class.
With Brown now on board, Tennessee’s class ranks third nationally according to Rivals.com and 247sports.com and fifth in the country in Scout.com’s rankings.
Contact Patrick Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 901-581-7288. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/patrickbrowntfp.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...