Ex-Gator bolts for Tennessee

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

There is joy at Tennessee. The Volunteers have snagged a commitment former Florida player, and anytime they can beat the Gators, unbridled glee pulses from Neyland Stadium.

So, bring coach Lane Kiffin the finest meats and cheeses in all the land. And you can bring defensive tackle John Brown, the former Gator-turning-Volunteer — after a short stop at Northeast Mississippi Junior College — the sheet music to “Rocky Top.”

Even Brown acknowledged the unusual move in a conversation with rivals.com’s Jamie Newberg.

“It seems a little weird going to Tennessee, being a rival and all,” said Brown, a 6-foot-2, 285-pound lineman who added that he’ll probably sign in December. “But it’s the best place for me.”

Brown wasn’t specific about his reasons for leaving the Gators just before spring practice started.

“IIt was a whole bunch of stuff the last few years for me,” he said. “I just need a new start.”

The advantage of his move to Tennessee is it will unite him with the coach he wanted to play for, when he left Lakeland High in Florida. Former Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron will be his position coach.

“I wanted to play for ‘Coach O’ since high school — it just didn’t work out back then,” Brown said. “Now, I just can’t wait to play for him or for Coach Kiffin. They will get it done there. And then I get to play for Monte Kiffin, one of the best coaches in football. That’s a great coaching. It’s one of the best in all of football.”

70 comments Add your comment

Diamond Dawg

June 4th, 2009
7:23 am

Poor kid is clueless

Corrine Brown

June 4th, 2009
7:37 am

GRADULATIONS!

South Georgia DAwg

June 4th, 2009
8:05 am

If he was all that good he wouldn’t be leaving Fla.

DAWG

June 4th, 2009
8:35 am

I heard that he wasn’t going to be able to compete for a starting position! Those hillbillies from Rocky Flop must be real excited! They just landed a recruit that couldn’t even stand a chance for 3rd string backup!
Way to go Hillbillies! Good Ole Rocky Flop!

UGA'er

June 4th, 2009
8:43 am

The difference between Kiffin and UGA coaches is Kiffin didn’t know the rules of recruiting. The staff at UGA knowingly broke the rules recruiting. Both were minor,secondary violations, but UGA knowingly cheated. There is a difference.

Bill

June 4th, 2009
8:44 am

Well Maxie your hatred for UF is duly noted.Now for some facts.John Brown struggled academically at Florida.He has a slight disabilty and could not play football and keep up with schoolwork at the same time.

Take that for what it’s worth.

Nuggs

June 4th, 2009
8:50 am

Talented kid and overall a good person however he is extremely lazy on the field and in the classroom.

Looks like Lane Kiffin is trying get Urban’s sloppy seconds in addition to try and recruit any kid Urban does.

After September Lane can throw out all this BS about how great his staff supposedly is and all Meyer will have to say is “if they’re all that great then what do you think of us since we just beat them 77-10″

gatorhater

June 4th, 2009
8:59 am

UGA’er, you do realize that the violation was 2 assistant coaches happened to call a kid in the same week, right? Mistakes happen. It’s not like they sat down and said, “ok, I’ll call him Monday and you call him Wednesday… we’ll get an advantage!” No, it was an honest mistake and a lack of internal communication to let the other know that the kid had already been contacted. Another was a former UGA player (my guess is Thomas Brown or Shockley) giving some friends (who happened to be on the football team) some tickets to a game (presumably a Falcons game.) So please get off your high horse and go back to your mom’s basement.

H OBAMA

June 4th, 2009
9:03 am

UGA’er what does your name mean? Obviously you are not a Bulldog fan since your comments are directed at UGA being cheaters. I do not believe you are correct but if you are then educate us. It seems to me you are alibing for Kiffin for being ignorant and if that is the case then consider where he is coaching ignorantville. I do not think you can compare kiffin with Richt when it comes to morals since kiffin is a bottom feeder. Recommend you change your name t reflect your allegiance such as kiffin lackey or something like that since you are not a Bulldog Anyway keep your dreams of being a Uga fan since this kiffin thing will wear out

shakazulu

June 4th, 2009
9:11 am

John Brown was lazy on the field and in the classroom……UT is a perfect fit.

PACK OF SMOKES

June 4th, 2009
9:18 am

Impressive in the bulge

Read Much?

June 4th, 2009
9:25 am

Make sure that you report that this kid had to have his SAT read to him because he reads at a 6th grade level. Why is this kid even in college when more deserving students that dont quite make the grade get in? Why? Urban Meyer and Lane KiffEn..thats why. What a joke knoxville has become. HE FLUNKED OUT AT UF PEOPLE!!

bull-gator

June 4th, 2009
9:30 am

John Brown wasn’t a projected starter once he enrolled at UF and encountered top level competetion. No loss to UF and a gain for UT. Win/Win situation. I don’t think he will be a game changer in the future, just a little above average football player. Best of luck, kid!

Go Vols

June 4th, 2009
9:42 am

Kudos to you, bull-gator, for your positive comments. UGA supporters – cheer on your own team instead of resorting to the same, tired cliches you always use when razzing my Vols.

KNelson

June 4th, 2009
9:56 am

Any chance that you pup fans have to say something negative makes kicking your A$$ so much sweeter!

Matt

June 4th, 2009
10:03 am

Good luck, good riddance. See you in Sept. in the Swamp.

Ryno

June 4th, 2009
10:05 am

We’ll take him at UT. Our depth is pathetic on the DL and all but one of our commits so far plays on the DL. If he stays as lazy in class and on the field as described, he won’t last long at UT either.

baconboy

June 4th, 2009
10:09 am

I just don’t see how the article can represent this as UT somehow ‘beat[ing]‘ Florida. The kid left UF months ago and it was well known that he had severe academic problems and wasn’t effective on the field. It’s not like LK somehow sneakily stole him from UF. ‘Beating’ requires it to be a competitive situation and UF certainly wasn’t competing for John Brown any more. This is more like Vince Vaughn hooking up with Jennifer Aniston after Brad Pitt was done with her.

The Dogfighter Returns

June 4th, 2009
10:16 am

read much? You may want to look up the meaning of the concept called capitalism.

what do the following people have in common: bill gates, larry ellison, and michael dell?

george w. has degrees from yale and harvard and all he has ever done in his life is destroy everything he has ever touched except for the rangers. he was a minority owner of the rangers so he did not have a chance to destroy that team.

m

June 4th, 2009
10:21 am

In the college softball world series, a real tournament with a real champion, Washington beat #1 ranked floriduh 2 straight to win a real national championship. They wouldn’t have even been in the championship game if they went by the STUPID bs bcs formula.

Anyway there was a very appropriate sign at the game….it said…..sec stands for second. How true…how true. LMAO.

Denver Dog

June 4th, 2009
10:22 am

Good Luck young man! Almost as easy as getting into Memphis?

Denver Dog

June 4th, 2009
10:26 am

Is he kind of like that Smiley guy that assaulted a lady on his recruiting trip to UF, and the only place that would offer after that was UT. UT UNIVERSAL THUGS

Karl Childers

June 4th, 2009
10:26 am

I’ve met potted meat brighter then the dogfighter feller above….

mmmmmmmmmmm………..

Vol4ever

June 4th, 2009
10:29 am

You bunch of haters on this site are amazing. I have heard sooo many ignorant comments about about the staff at Tennessee. Being an alum I am saving these comments to repost in the future to remind you clowns of your ignorance.

WE are TENNESSEE!

WTF???

June 4th, 2009
10:37 am

You can’t spell Citrus without UT….

Art Vandelay

June 4th, 2009
10:38 am

m, are you really talking women’s softball smack? That’s a tad bit pathetic, no?

UGA alum '03

June 4th, 2009
10:56 am

Sounds like the Gators didn’t want him back. He might be talented, but maybe he had some disciplinary or academic problems.

Wow, WTF???...

June 4th, 2009
11:01 am

…way to bring up a really old saying – did you think that all by yourself?

sminingsgator

June 4th, 2009
11:06 am

Very talented kid who is possibly suffering from a learning disorder.

He never applied himself during his two years at UF. He hever got any meaningful minutes on the field. Not sure how he is getting enrolled at UT when he was failing out at UF?

reservoirDAWG

June 4th, 2009
11:06 am

I don’t care how many times WTF says that. It’s a great line.

Gator Growl

June 4th, 2009
11:06 am

This guy Maxie needs to do a little research for his stories! This whole article makes it sound like the guy left Florida for the “greener pastures” at Tennessee and to play for a coach that “he really wanted to play for all along” but the facts are, if Maxie had even bother to check, is this guy is at a Mississippi community college because he couldn’t hack it academically or athletically at UF. He never made any impact in the classroom or on the field, not even in the spring game! And he was a struggle to get into the school in the first place and even a bigger challenge to stay in as he was constantly on the verge of flunking out. In fact, it was pretty much determined that he would not be academically qualified for the Fall term at Florida, thus the stint at the community college. But he shouldn’t have that problem at Tennessee, I’m more than sure they will “tutor him up” and keep him in school “somehow”. Hey, I’m not knocking the kid, he is not without talent and is probably making a better choice for himself…be a third or fourth stringer at Florida (if he could somehow stay in school) or have a legitimate chance to start for the Vols. Anyway, nice work, Maxie!

UGA'er

June 4th, 2009
11:15 am

Weren’t Kiffins mistakes small in nature too, such as mentioning a kid that had ALREADY signed? Sounds like a mere technicality. The other miscues were self reported too. I would imagine he simply didn’t know all the rules. Now in the UGA instance, how do you explain former players knowingly giving tickets away to current players? Should they not have been educated from the mral staff at UGA? And the coaches happening to call the same recruit in the same week? Come on!

TX DAWG

June 4th, 2009
11:31 am

It looks like Left Coast Lane is trying to get players any way he can. By the way, how long before Bryce Brown and the other guy (that was in juvenile prison for a few years) get kicked off the team? Left Coast Lane is a class act.

[...] Ex-Gator bolts for Tennessee | AJC College Sports Recruiting Kiffin adds a notch to his belt and takes a Gator player. [...]

GatorsMax

June 4th, 2009
11:41 am

Lane Kiffin and UT is having to sign UF rejects, who couldn’t handle the courses at UF—nice! At UT, the rules for athletes are pretty much nonexistent–they take mickey mouse classes, go to class when they want and probably have tutors still write papers for them, since most can barely read! Florida doesn’t put up with this BS—it will not matter, UF will blow out UT for years to come. Lane Kiffin—can’t coach a lick.

Dawg92

June 4th, 2009
11:51 am

UGA’er, you can believe what you want but the players, coaches and boosters are claiming that they unknowingly committed the violations. I agree that it’s a bit of a stretch with the tickets, but UGA reported it and the players paid for the tickets. I think everyone is coming down on Kiffin a little bit harder because he’s an a$$ hat.

Now if you want to see someone push the boundaries of ethical behavior, follow Mr. Saban around the recruiting trail for a few weeks and see how many players he “accidentally” bumps into.

UT Grad 1978

June 4th, 2009
12:03 pm

Poor John Brown, the former Gator-turning-Volunteer.

He probably could not cut it academically at Florida so he had to pick a second (or third) tier academic school like Tennessee so he could stay academically eligible to play college football.

I doubt he will even have the committment to even graduate from an easy school like UT though.

Native Atlantan

June 4th, 2009
12:24 pm

I find it amazing that Vol fans get on here complaining about other teams commenting on their issues. Hmmmmm….ever read the garbage K Nelson (an obvious Vol fan) puts on these? Man what a bunch of hypocrites.

KNelson

June 4th, 2009
12:29 pm

LaGrange (GA) Troup defensive end J.C. Copeland participated in Tennessee’s one-day camp for offensive and defensive linemen Monday in part to get his first up-close look at the school to which he verbally committed just two weeks ago. The list fust continues to grow. Oh he is an in state player.

Go Vols

June 4th, 2009
12:36 pm

Native, it’s not that we mind comments on our issues. Our heads aren’t buried in sand – we have concerns, too. The point, my point at least, is that many of the comments are just a waste of space. Hillbillies, rednecks, etc., can’t spell Citrus without UT – not constructive, original, or relevant.

Ryno

June 4th, 2009
12:43 pm

Hey Native, it’s a message board in Georgia that is obsessed with all things Kiffin and read by or read to rival fans. Any story about any school, uga included, will garner it’s share of mudslinging from everybody else. It’s the internet way. You can play along and sling mud back or not.
For instance, Kiffin was getting hammered for secondary violations (I think a grand total of five) and now, it’s Georgia’s turn. Some schools don’t dare publicize how many they get and blacklist papers in Gaines….er…their town that would dare to. Whatever.
I get tired of reading all the Kiffin hate, but I realize where I’m reading and then, I can laugh it off.

Florida vs Tennessee

June 4th, 2009
12:46 pm

This guy must be really dumb. Its common knowledge that Florida steers the overwhelming majority of their football players into the 3 easiest majors in school sociology, poly sci, and criminal justice. Something like 60% of their players are crowded into these 3 majors under 1 dept. If the kid can’t make it at a program where they try to make it as easy as possible for the players then what makes him think he can make it at UT unless they do the same thing at UT?

Then again UT makes it easy on athletes. So easy that on the 1998 national championship team 22 players were given passing grades so that they would remain eligible for the game. The various professors then changed the grades of these 22 players to Fs after the game was over. Is this blatant cheating? You decide. The NCAA looked into it because we all know cheating when we see it. But the NCAA said that they can’t go into a classroom and tell a professor what grade they can give a student and so there was nothing the NCAA could do. At least at UT the young man can rest assured that if there is a big game he will remain eligible for the game until after the season in which case the professor will then change his grade to the grade he really deserved.

baconboy

June 4th, 2009
12:47 pm

Actually, Tennessee would have to vastly exceed expectations to make it to the Citrus Bowl. The closest they’ll get to the Citrus Bowl this year is their trip to Gainesville.

Native Atlantan

June 4th, 2009
12:52 pm

Go Vols, I can understand where you are coming from. Just also know where we are coming from in regards to people like K Nelson.

No program is perfect. UGA has their share of off-field instances; UT has theirs; On ATL Sportstalk this week, I think I heard Chuck Oliver of 680 The Fan mention UF has had 23 arrests in the past two years…don’t worry, just about all will be suited up in late Oct in Jax. Bama and South Carolina aren’t a bunch of angels either.

I always try to not elaborate on other teams misfortunes because as soon as you do, one is going to come your way. It would be nice if people were a little more respectful, but that’s just my opinion.

UT Grad 1978

June 4th, 2009
12:58 pm

As a UT grad I find it embarrassing that Tennessee compromises academic integrity to the point that athletics takes precedence over academics. It has become just a football factory cranking out former players that do not graduate and are functionally illiterate. I hope this changes for the sake of UT. We are the laughing stock of the Tennessee public college and university system

Huh?

June 4th, 2009
1:00 pm

I have something constructive, original, and relevant to discuss. How on God’s green earth did you hillbillies lose to Wyoming? Serious question. I haven’t seen the game and have no idea how that is even possible. Thanks.

anotherdawg

June 4th, 2009
1:01 pm

Has anyone seen the article in “Rivals” about the 258 student-athletes at UGA that had earned a 3.0 GPA or higher? 47 of these were football. Drew Butler (football), Courtney Cripps (soccer), and Bridget Lyons (track & field) were named Presidential Scholars earning a 4.0 GPA. GO DAWGS!

Sanford Drive

June 4th, 2009
1:02 pm

TN should let Eric Berry play quarterback.

BamaDon

June 4th, 2009
1:22 pm

What college in going to win the Fulmer Cup this year?

Nuggs

June 4th, 2009
1:24 pm

FYI-

In the SEC only Vandy can claim to be a higher ranked academic institution than UF.