With such a strong history on the defensive line, especially at the defensive tackle spot, the University of Tennessee usually has a good chance to sign some of the best talent in the country for their defensive interior. Coming out of high school in Lakeland, Florida, John Brown was considered a can’t miss prospect before heading to a junior college to work on the academic side of things. Now that he has that side of the equation figured out, the 6-foot-2, 300-pounder is headed to Knoxville and expects to be a big piece of the Vols defense over the next couple of years.
Brown signed with the Vols after wavering a little bit once the coaching changes took place in Knoxville, but after meeting the new staff, Brown felt that Tennessee was still the place for him. After committing to UT long before the coaching change, Brown needed some reassurance once the changes took place. After coming to the realization that UT was the place he always wanted to be, Brown decided to stick with his original choice and now has a bright future ahead in Knoxville.
Coming out of high school, Brown was considered a little bit raw in spite of his immense talent on the field. It appears that he was able to shore up the more inconsistent parts of his game as he worked on them at Northeast Mississippi Community College. The physical Brown is a well-rounded defender as he has a unique ability to get to the quarterback from the defensive tackle position and he is also a real load in the middle when teams try to go to the run. Brown uses his hands really well and is able to shed blockers and create havoc along the offensive line.
Here is what Scouts, Inc and ESPNU had to say about the powerful Brown back in 2007 as he prepared to graduate high school and move on to the college level…
(Done for the Class of 2007) Brown is a terror on the football field at the high school level and has the tools to be dominant at the college level. It is hard not to be impressed by his overall ability. He is still a bit raw and needs to improve some parts of his game, but he is so quick and athletic, it’s scary. Brown has good size and carries it well. He is very quick off the ball and is a constant threat to get immediate penetration. He is active with his hands and has really gotten the quick swim move down to a science. He is a really dangerous pass rusher. In addition to the quick swim, he displays an understanding of how to get to half a man and defeat blockers on the move. He shows excellent body control and balance. He has ability to get a full head of steam and get a body lean towards the quarterback. He can get his hips turned to get around blockers. In addition to his athletic ability, he also has the size and power to get push and collapse the pocket. He has a good motor and keeps on working towards the quarterback. He displays the ability to split and defeat double teams. He is a real handful when defending the run. He uses his hands well to take on and defeat blockers. Moves well laterally and is physical at the point of attack. He is tough to move and hard to stay with. He runs very well for a big man and can be a factor on the perimeter. He is a solid tackler and hustles around. He needs to work on his pad level as he can get high, especially versus the run. Right now, he is so much more gifted than most of his opponents that he can play tall and still dominate, but at the college level, blockers will better know how to use that against him. Bottom line is that Brown is dominant at the defensive tackle position. Heading into his senior year, he already shows that he has the tools to play as a freshman and contribute.
Brown has two years of eligibility left and he plans on making the most of his short stay in the SEC. If Brown is able to pick up the playbook, he should step in right away and provide depth and some disruptive talent for the Vols as they adjust to a new system during the 2010 season.
One thing for sure that Vol fans can always keep in mind if that defensive linemen are drawn to the University of Tennessee and the more success that guys like Albert Haynesworth have in the NFL, they will continue to reap the benefits and reel in guys like John Brown out of both the high school and junior college ranks.