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Offensive line is UGA’s biggest priority for the remainder of its 2012 football recruiting class.
The Bulldogs picked up their second OL prospect in less than a week when Chester Brown committed on Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 331-pounder from Bradwell Institute picked Georgia over Georgia State and South Alabama.
“I think Chester kind of wanted to stay close to home, when it all came down to it,” Bradwell coach Jim Walsh Jr. told the AJC. “For Chester, the opportunity for his parents to come and watch his games was very important. He has a great family nucleus.”
One of the nation’s top offensive linemen, 5-star recruit John Theus of Jacksonville, committed to Georgia at last weekend’s Dawg Night. Brown was also there in Athens that night attending his first college camp of the summer, and left with a scholarship offer from UGA coach Mark Richt. Brown called to commit on Tuesday but was told to think about it one more day by Richt. Brown felt the same way on Wednesday and made it official, becoming UGA’s commitment No. 12 for 2012.
“His phone has been ringing off the hook this week,” Walsh said. “He was a quiet guy who popped up with the colleges at the last minute, and all of sudden he’s getting calls left and right. Troy, UAB and Southern Miss were also talking about offering. As the summer progressed, there have been a lot of inquiries about the kid. But when it was all said and done, he wanted to stay close to home. That was a big factor in his decision-making process. He felt the right fit at Georgia and went ahead with it.”
Brown is a native Samoan who only began playing organized football in the ninth grade. He started that same year for the varsity at Bradwell Institute, the Hinesville school located around 60 miles from Savannah. “We saw him walking the hallways, got him to come out for the football team and he has been starting ever since,” Walsh said. “He is obviously a very physical and athletic kid. He’s about 6-5 1/2 and weighed in the other night at 331. He’s actually thin-looking for that kind of weight. He’s got a lot of talent and ability.”
When calling to get background information about the little-known prospect, Richt and Georgia’s coaching staff raved about Brown’s upside. “They love his size and athleticism,” Walsh said. “He carries his weight well, which will cut down on the possibility of a knee injury. He was up to 347 pounds in the spring but trimmed down. If the colleges sign a kid who is 260 as a senior and then he throws on a ton of weight, it can cause stress in the knee area. That won’t be the situation with Chester because he already weighs that much and is used to it. Georgia likes that, and his ability to move around at that weight. They think he has a ton of upside in terms of flexibility, quickness, size and strength.”
Georgia’s top two college prospects on the offensive line appear headed out of state: Lithonia High School’s Joe Harris will make his college decision between South Carolina, Clemson, Mississippi State and and Alabama on July 27. Buford High School’s Vadal Alexander is favoring LSU, Alabama and Auburn.
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? firstname.lastname@example.org