Offense At Oregon Deal-breaker For Brown

After weeks of speculation that insisted Lyndhurst (OH) Brush three-star tight end Pharaoh Brown was a heavy lean to Oregon, Brown finally made his commitment to the Ducks official at the Offense-Defense Bowl in Dallas on Thursday. eDuck reached out to Brown's high school football coach Robert Atwood for the details on Brown's commitment.

What made Pharaoh feel like Oregon was right place for him to go?

"I think it was a couple of things. I think he felt coach (Tom) Osborne's commitment to him and (the Oregon) coaching staff's commitment to him. (Osborne)'s been fairly steady in keeping touch with Pharaoh and Pharaoh really has enjoyed his time to get to know the coaching staff, so that was a big deal. During his (official) visit, he really felt like he fit in well with the players there. He got along with some of those guys very well. All of those guys he was hanging out with there, he said he really felt comfortable with. Then, I think he really fits in well with their schemes; looking for guys who run vertical routes down the seams and that kind of stuff. I think he feels very comfortable doing that. I think it was a mix of the coaching staff -- feeling comfortable with them, feeling comfortable with the players -- and he's really comfortable with the schemes he will be playing in."

After his official visit to Oregon, many speculated that the Ducks might be leading for Pharaoh. In the weeks following that visit, was Pharaoh entertaining the idea of visiting any other schools?

"He had some home visits from some other schools during that stretch of the recruiting process and I think he was using those to kind of get a feel for their coaches and what the teams do. It was pretty much Oklahoma, Nebraska and Michigan State at that point...They visited him at home and were trying to set up an (official) visit, but he just didn't feel comfortable with the any of them like he did with coach Osborne. I think that played in to him not taking any other visits. He's got basketball too, so it was going to have to be something that he really felt like he could go (in order) to miss basketball. Michigan State was pushing for him to come up and he didn't want to miss his game for that because he didn't feel like he was going to go there over Oregon. I think after his visit (to Oregon), he kept telling me, ‘I'm 99.9 percent sure (I want to go to Oregon), I just don't want to commit yet.' He kind of just wanted to feel some other places out, I guess. I think he did that more through the home visits and from talking with the coaching staffs."

Did Oregon have an in-home visit with Pharaoh? How did he describe that visit?

"He described it as he did every other visit with coach Osborne. He really felt comfortable with him, his honesty. He really liked that. (Osborne) wasn't pushy at any point. At times, I think Pharaoh felt some schools were kind of pushy, like, ‘Hey, there's this other spot, you better take it now or else it's not going to be there.‘ He never felt like he was being pushed in to Oregon. They've pretty much been under the idea with Pharaoh that, ‘Hey, we want guys to come to Oregon who want to be here, so we're not going to push you in to it.' They said if you want to come to Oregon, it's got to be your decision...He really liked that."

Was coach Osborne the only coach from Oregon that Pharaoh hosted during his in-home visit?

"You know, I am not 100 percent sure that coach (Chip) Kelly didn't make a visit with him. I know that the only one who has been at the school is coach Osborne. I don't know for sure if coach Kelly visited the home."

It sounds like Pharaoh's relationship with coach Osborne was a big reason Pharaoh felt comfortable committing to Oregon, but was there a specific moment for Pharaoh that really changed his mind when it came to Oregon?

"I don't think there was anything specific. I think with Pharaoh, it was the entire process of the way (Oregon) handled it. They came in the spring and Pharaoh had already committed to Michigan at that point. They weekend before (his commitment to Michigan), coach Osborne was coming to the school. Coach Osborne still came on that Tuesday and he watched us work out and said that there's an offer for Pharaoh if he changes his mind. He said, ‘You're committed to somebody else, we understand that, we respect that, but if you change your mind, get back in touch with us.' (Oregon) said at that point that they wanted him as a tight end and Michigan was looking at him as a defensive end. He got in to the season and even in the summer, his initial thoughts of Oregon (started). He started catching some passes in some 7-on-7's and I think he felt like that was a more natural position for him. He really excelled (at tight end), I mean he really was excellent. He went through the summer in that way and talked to coach Osborne and coach Osborne picked up the recruiting again on him and he was at the school a few times. It was really the entire process that (stood out). Oregon was a place that never gave up on him, they were respectful of his thoughts the whole time, they never said anything bad about anybody else and you know, I think he really felt like that they showed great class throughout the process and he just really respected that. It was the whole process of them sticking by him and letting (Pharaoh) know, ‘Hey, we really want you, but contact us.' Coach Osborne has been to the school more than any of the coaches recruiting Pharaoh and I think Pharaoh liked that attention. Pharaoh and I were talking the other day and I said, ‘I'm going to miss coach Osborne (laughter).' I've seen him enough where I felt, ‘Man, I'm going to miss this guy.'"

If tight end didn't work out for Pharaoh, how open do you think he'd be to playing defensive end at Oregon?

"I don't know if that's in his frame of mind right now. I feel like he really loves offense. I think he'll be a team player because he always was for us, but I feel like he really wants to be a tight end."

Is Pharaoh planning on coming to Oregon in the spring or the summer?

"I don't think he's able to get there early. I don't think his schedule would allow that, so I would say sometime in the summer."

Pharaoh Brown profile

Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney

eDuck Top Stories