Derrick Brown looked comfortable as he walked to the center of the basketball court at Lanier High School, his mother locked in arms, on the eve of National Signing Day.
“Derrick is the type that you’ll never know how he’s feeling,” said his mother, Martha. “He will never show it. He could’ve looked like he was at peace, he may not have been at peace. If he wasn’t, he did a great job of pretending that he was.”
The uncertainty surrounding Brown and his recruitment will come to a close on Wednesday, along with the noise, phone calls and inquiries.
In the meantime, Brown is on the clock. Will it be Auburn, the supposed recent favorite, or in-state Georgia? Will Tennessee, whom Brown last visited, prevail?
On Sunday, a report surfaced indicating the five-star defensive tackle was favoring Auburn, Tennessee and Alabama, in no particular order. His mother later refuted that story, and on Tuesday offered up a slightly modified version of her son’s top schools.
“There are some schools at the top,” she said. “The kid is going to have some favorites. I can say his depth chart probably at the top would be Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.”
Curiously, Auburn — the supposed front-runner — was not included.
Brown has taken official visits to each of the aforementioned programs, including Mississippi State (Nov. 28), with Tennessee being his most recent stop. In-home visits have also been a recurring theme for the Brown family, who’ve hosted Alabama’s Nick Saban, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Georgia’s Kirby Smart in the past two weeks.
The newly hired Bulldogs coach even helicoptered to Lanier twice last Thursday — once in the afternoon and the other following a speech at the Touchdown Club of Atlanta.
And with each meeting, Brown’s mother was in search of something new despite having visited each campus countless times before.
“If I keep getting the same thing over and over, then I begin to wonder,” she said.”If you want to come in and Derrick wants you to come in, I have no problem with that. But you at least need to sell me on something new every time. If I keep hearing the same things, then you’re not selling me hard enough.”
Per Brown’s mother, each of the five schools have done their homework in recruiting Derrick and vice versa. The U.S. Army All-American has done his fair share of due diligence, from reviewing depth charts to comparing the statistics of defensive linemen at each school.
“Any kid wants to go in and start playing,” she said. “His thing was, let’s find out what the depth chart is at his position, how many seniors and upperclassmen you have left on the team and what would his place be. Of course, he has to get in there and work.”
Has it all culminated in a decision?
In an interview with FOX Atlanta 5 on Tuesday, Brown, the top-rated prospect in the state, suggested such.
“He’s an unpredictable kid, but we know he’s smart enough to know what he wants,” his mother said.
All rankings are according to the 247Sports Composite