Chester Brown (left) and John Theus won't be playing the O-Line together at UGA. Brown is the fifth 2012 commitment that UGA has lost for one reason or another (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com)
- TUESDAY UPDATE (9:44 pm): A relatively new Georgia Board of Regents policy regulating the admission of undocumented students and illegal immigrants has prevented Chester Brown from gaining admission to UGA, reports the AJC Chip Towers (click on link to read the full story)
OL Chester Brown, who had been pledged to UGA since last summer, confirmed that he has de-committed from the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-5, 340-pound offensive lineman from Bradwell Institute high school told the AJC it was for “personal family reasons.” Brown is the fifth commitment that UGA has lost in this recruiting class for one reason or another.
It was a big blow to UGA, which is desperately seeking one or two more offensive linemen before National Signing Day, which is a week away (Feb. 1). The Bulldogs still have commitments from two OL recruits, John Theus of Jacksonville, Fla., and Greg Pyke of Baltimore. Another OL, junior college transfer Mark Beard, enrolled early at UGA.
Back to Brown: You remember his story? He was relatively unknown until attending UGA’s Dawg Night prospect camp last July, both earning a scholarship offer and committing on the spot. He picked the Bulldogs over Georgia State and South Alabama. We talked with the Somoan-born lineman on late Monday night:
- What happened? “I talked to [Mark Richt] and [UGA assistant Tony Ball] about it. When I told them about everything, about my personal reasons, they felt like this was the right decision for me to make – not because I’m leaving Georgia, but because of my family.”
- What are those family reasons? “The family reasons are personal, or private.”
Chester Brown has a tattoo of the date he committed to UGA on his left forearm, according to ESPN (247Sports.com)
- Did UGA revoke or withdraw the scholarship offer? “No, this was my decision. It was 100-percent my decision.”
- What about the rumors it was because of academics? “No, I’ve heard that a lot. People thought it was because of my SAT scores and my academics. No, no, no. My academics are good and everything. My SAT scores are good. It was due to personal family reasons that made me make the decision I made.”
- Did you get into trouble at school or away from school? “No. No trouble with the law, and no trouble with school. Basically, it was an issue behind closed doors with my family.”
- When did you have an idea that you might de-commit? “It was about two or three weeks ago. I let Georgia know. They felt like I should think about my decision again. Then I called them back on Saturday and let them know my decision was final.”
- Why is it just now getting out? “I think it’s because I got calls from other people who said ‘the word on the street is that you’ve decided to de-commit.’ I guess when they finally got it from me, then people put it on Facebook or Twitter or wherever. Then other people saw it and called me/”
- How do you feel about parting ways with UGA? “Everyone knows that I still have love for the Georgia family, especially for the Georgia coaches and everything. The decision I made, it hurt a lot to make that decision. It hurt me personally. Georgia was a place I told everyone was my home, and I felt like I could play there. But this was a decision that I came upon and it was a family issue. I wanted to let people know it didn’t end on bad terms. No, we left on good terms. I talked to Coach Ball. He said ‘the decision you made was right.’ He basically told me ‘it is what it is’ with the decision I made.”
- What was Georgia’s reaction to your decision? “Their reaction was that they felt very disappointed. Then again, they were with me on the decision that I made. They felt like for the good of my family, whatever decision I made, that’s what I should go with.”
- Do you still want to play college football? “Yes sir. My options right now are Central Florida, Tulane, and Syracuse. I’ve [gotten offers] from Tulane and Syracuse and right now I’m in the process of talking about it with Central Florida.”
- Why would you want to play at those other colleges but not UGA? Is this specifically related to an issue with UGA? “It’s not because I don’t want to play for Georgia. It’s for personal reasons. These were the scholarships that were offered to me at this point, Syracuse and Tulane. I’m in talks with Central Florida. But this has nothing to do with where I was going to play, Georgia.”
What’s next for UGA? OL target Avery Young of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., moves to the very top of UGA’s recruiting board — if he wasn’t there already. Young has listed Auburn, Florida and UGA as his leaders. Also expect the Bulldogs to make a run after a few in-state linemen committed to other schools, including Alabama-bound Brandon Greene of Cedar Grove.
Note: UGA has lost five commitments for its 2012 recruiting class. The others are Flowery Branch WR CJ Curry (flipped to Oklahoma State), prep school LB Kent Turene (signed with Marshall as a Prop 48), junior college WR Lonnie Outlaw (had yet to meet transfer requirements) and junior college DE Jalen Fields (had yet to meet transfer requirements).
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ….
AND EVEN MORE RECRUITING NEWS …
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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