Peachtree Ridge's Brown commits to Tennessee football

Orlando Brown

Orlando Brown

SUWANEE — Orlando Brown celebrated his 17th birthday on Thursday by giving University of Tennessee football fans a big present.

The 6-foot-8, 345-pound Peachtree Ridge offensive lineman committed to the Vols over more than 40 scholarship offers.

"I pretty much based my decision off of somewhere I can trust and somewhere I feel like is home," Brown said.

Brown had scholarship offers from just about every major Division I school in the country from Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Florida State. He chose Tennessee over finalists Oklahoma and Arkansas.

"I actually didn't have a chance to visit Arkansas or Oklahoma," Brown said. "But Tennessee, the facilities are great. They have a great coaching staff. Great players, they are rebuilding brick-by-brick like Coach (Butch) Jones says. It's just the place to be. It's hot. It feels like home."

Brown took visits to the Knoxville, Tenn., campus for Junior Day and the Vols' spring game last month. He made up his mind last week and knew he didn't want to wait to make his decision.

"I just felt like why hold back when I'm committed somewhere," Brown said. "I'm not going to take any visits. I'm 100 percent a Volunteer. I was going to wait until August or September, but I thought that was too long. I'm too excited."

Brown is the second Peachtree Ridge player to make a college commitment. Nick Glass, who transferred from St. Pius in December, is committed to Georgia. Myron Burton is also a Division I prospect for the Lions.

Brown is the son of the late Orlando Brown, Sr., who played in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.

Brown transferred to Peachtree Ridge from DeMatha High in Hyattsville, Md., during his sophomore year and weighed 410 pounds.

He has changed his eating habits and has exercised more to shed 65 pounds and become a dominant player on the Lions' offensive line. A slimmer Brown has drawn the attention of college recruiters last year.

"He's a competitor," Peachtree Ridge coach Mark Fleetwood said. "He has athletic skills. He has a long reach. He can set good, he started playing to the second level, he's just wanting to learn. Right now I don't know how good he'll be. I think he'll be real good, but I don't know how fast. His work habits have been excellent."

ESPN has Brown rated as a three-star prospect and ranked the No. 36 player in Georgia for the 2014 class.

"I definitely feel like going into my senior season ahead of the game," Brown said. "I don't think I'm ready for college yet. I know this time next year I will be. That's what I'm working for."

National Signing Day is not until February, but Brown said he does not plan to take any official visits to other schools.

"No, I'm done. I'm 100 percent a Volunteer," Brown said.