BUFORD, Ga. – Derrick Brown offered three words to describe his recruitment.
“Still wide open,” the 6-foot-4, 320-pound defensive tackle told SEC about his recruitment on Wednesday.
That has to be considered good news for Tennessee, where Brown will take his final official visit this weekend. The nation’s No. 4 defensive tackle and top prospect in Georgia has been strongly tied with nearly every other school in his recruitment.
Mississippi State seemed to have the early lead in Brown’s recruitment since his parents are former Bulldogs. Then, Alabama seemed to take a lead after his official visit on Dec. 12, as Brown was often seen in Crimson Tide gear. Auburn is the latest school that seems to have caught fire as some prognosticators seem to think Brown could end up a Tiger. Brown just laughs the speculation off.
“I feel like people are trying to guess and see where I’m going,” the five-star prospect said, “but they’ll see where I’m going Wednesday.”
Brown said he will announce his decision on National Signing Day on Feb. 3. That gives the Vols the final face-to-face meeting this weekend. Brown has a unique challenge as he chooses his school among his list of finalists: Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. Each have undergone defensive coaching changes.
“You definitely have to keep track with that because you could see a coach calling and he’s programmed in your phone…you really have no idea (where that coach is),” Brown said.
Tennessee’s coaching change was perhaps the most surprising. Former defensive coordinator John Jancek was suddenly replaced by former Penn State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop. Jancek was very involved in Brown’s recruitment. That makes this weekend in Knoxville, Tenn., incredibly important.
“All five of my schools have gone through coaching changes,” Brown said. “I have to wait and see. At the end of the day I just have to spend some time with coach Shoop and see what happens after that.”
When asked about Shoop, Brown said, “I like coach Shoop. I got to sit down with him and my family all got to talk. I like what he brings to the table and he brings stats with him and he has more talent at Tennessee.”
Shoop is known for being aggressive. That has Brown’s thinking.
“Aggressive defense means we’re normally not going to be sitting on the ball stopping the run,” Brown said. “We’re going to be getting off and getting after it.”
Brown could be a big part of that.