Every coach in the country dreams of having offensive tackles that can block out the sun. That explains why 6-9, 360-lb Suwanee (GA) Peachtree Ridge junior, Orlando Brown is already one of the most heavily recruited players in his class. The son of the late Orlando “Zeus” Brown Sr., Orlando Jr.’s pedigree is obvious. And before his father’s passing the talented youngster soaked up as much of the knowledge that had been acquired over a 11-year NFL veteran as he possibly could.
“A lot of his game is in me,” said Brown referring to his father. “A lot of his game… from aggressiveness, to play style, to all kinds of stuff. He taught me so much, it’s kind of hard to forget it when I’m playing.”
“My style is a lot like Orlando Pace’s. You’re going to see (that style). It’s going to be recognizable. If anybody’s standing out, it’s going to be the running back behind Orlando Brown. You what I mean? From blocking, to going down field, to putting people on their back every play… that’s my style. I’m a real aggressive player. I’m working on my footwork right now. That’s something that a lot of people tell me my downfall is, but if you keep hearing it, it’s something you have to work on. That’s what I’ve really been working on… that and pass protection, which I’ve gotten a whole lot better since the Army All-American combine.”
Brown’s 27 scholarship offers is proof that numerous college coaches agree. Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, Georgia, Notre Dame, USC and Michigan are but a few BCS powers that are hot on his trail. The Wolverines joined the fray during the spring, and in subsequent months have forged a nice rapport over the phone.
“Coach Heck a pretty cool guy,” said Brown regarding Michigan’s recruiting coordinator. “First thing he told me was, ‘I’m not here to recruit you, I’m here to get you. I had never had a coach tell me that before, so it was pretty shocking.’
“Coach Borges was just pretty much talking about the offense and stuff like that, and what they’re trying to do for our class, and stuff like that.”
“Coach Funk is a really intellectual guy. He knows everything. I watched him a little bit on offensive line at San Diego State, which is one of my favorites. I had been watching the game they were playing Fresno State a year or two ago, I think he was the offensive line coach then. I can tell he’s a really good coach by talking to him, and a bunch of other coaches talking about him, and other players talking about him.”
After a late week visit to Ohio State Brown was looking forward to getting some face time with the aforementioned coaches in Ann Arbor this weekend, but their conflicting travel schedules caused him change his plans. Now he hopes make his way to Ann Arbor the following weekend. At that point he will begin seriously assessing how well the Maize & Blue meet his standards for consideration.
“Having a chance to play my freshman year I feel like is important to me,” Brown explained. “I want to play for a winning program, I want a school with pretty good academics, and I want a good environment.”
One factor he insists will not play a role is distance from home.
“My family doesn’t have a problem with traveling,” he said. “I have family from Ohio, family from California, everywhere. I mean, so that’s not a problem for me.”
That is good news for far away options like Michigan. So too are the positive impressions he has about the school before he ever sets foot on campus.
Said Brown, “the things I like about Michigan …their fan base. I love their fan base. They’re really strong with that. I like the coaching staff. I like the fact that Coach Borges is going to play with what he has. He’s going to stick to the spread because Denard Robinson is there. I’m pretty sure once (Denard) leaves, he’s going to switch to regular Michigan football, which is run blocking and defense. So I know he’s pretty big on that. I know they have a pretty good campus. And the Big House… I’ve heard all about that.
And now he wants to see it for himself.