BEAVERTON, Ore. — The plot continues to thicken surrounding the recruitment of Derrick Brown.
The Scout No. 5-rated defensive tackle in the 2016 signing class dwindled his list of top schools down to Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee, effectively making it a race of Southeastern Conference programs to gain his signature.
The Lanier (Ga.) High School standout has Tennessee in that group because of “just the possibility of them making a huge run this year and that being a special place.”
The Scout five-star prospect made his second unofficial visit of the year to Knoxville on June 17, which was just prior to Orange Carpet Day.
“I had all my boys up there with me,” the 6-foot-4, 322-pound Brown said. “We were able to relax and just sit around.”
As is the case with a majority of prospects that hold scholarship offers, the defensive tackle spent one-on-one time with coach Butch Jones.
“I got to sit down with him that day. He hung out with us most of the day. He had to go do team stuff for a little while and said good-bye. That’s about it,” Brown said.
With Brown having narrowed his list of potential landing spots, Jones is one of the few head coaches with which he maintains contact.
“Coach is laid back and so is (Georgia) coach (Mark) Richt. At the end of the day, they get the job done,” Brown said.
Highly regarded freshmen defensive tackles such as former Scout five-star Kahlil McKenzie and four-star Shy Tuttle have Big Orange fans wishful that the interior D-line can get back to being the wrecking crew of old. Brown knows McKenzie as the two have spent time together.
“(McKenzie)’s chill,” said Brown, who ranks as the No. 15 player in the nation. “We got to hang out with him when we were up there and played games with him.”
Being part of a rotation at defensive tackle on Rocky Top with a player such as McKenzie “most definitely” helps Tennessee’s chances of landing Brown, who said the duo could be “dominant…very.”
The position coach with which Brown would work should he sign with Tennessee is Steve Stripling.
“He’s been cool to talk to,” Brown said of the Vols assistant. “We were able to sit down and talk and go over some film the last time I was up there. It was pretty fun.”
The Peach State’s best interior defensive lineman does not plan to enroll in college in January. He will participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
As for his five official visits, he said, “I’ve got to sit down and talk to my parents about it.”