5-Star Andrew Brown Picks Virginia

Andrew Brown , pictured here at UVa’s Big Man Camp in 2012, has committed to UVa.

Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) defensive lineman Andrew Brown , who is rated a 5-star prospect by all four national recruiting outlets (Rivals, 247Sports, ESPN, Scout), announced this afternoon that he has verbally committed to the University of Virginia. Brown’s decision gives Virginia its second 5-star recruit in the class of 2014 and the third 5-star overall in the Mike London era.

The 6’4″, 290-pound Brown received scholarship offers from all across the country before narrowing the field to five — Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Virginia and Virginia Tech — earlier in June. Of the five finalists, Brown visited Clemson, UVa, and Virginia Tech before coming to his decision. He and fellow consensus 5-star Quin Blanding (FS, Bayside High School in Virginia Beach) are the headliners of Virginia’s 2014 Class, which is now up to nine players and also includes 4-star offensive linemen Steven Moss and Will Richardson .

“Andrew Waverly Brown III is going to be playing college football at UVa,” Brown said in a chat on ESPN.com. Check out the full interview by clicking here.

Asked what the deciding factor was in his decision, Brown said: “It’s home, man. I mean, it’s Virginia. Plus, another thing, I felt like it’s a family thing at UVa. I’m not going to be treated as, ‘Aw, that’s number 65. Aw, man, he’s just another player.’ I thought at UVa that they’re actually going to remember my name and treat me as one of their own sons and push me harder and harder every day.”

For the second time since Rivals.com began issuing star rankings in 2002, UVa will land multiple 5-stars in a class. The Cavaliers signed three 5-stars (Ahmad Brooks , Michael Johnson, and Kai Parham) in 2002, when London, who is now entering his fourth season as Cavaliers head coach, was an assistant to Al Groh.

In Brown, Virginia gets a defensive lineman with the capability of making an immediate impact on the major college level. He’ll be all the more prepared to play as a true freshman because he plans on enrolling in January, meaning he’ll get to go through spring practice before taking the field as a true freshman in the 2014 season.

There has been a buzz about Brown since his freshman year, when he attended Indian River High School. He transferred to Oscar Smith following his sophomore year and is entering his second season under ultra-successful head coach Rich Morgan.

“He has a combination of size and speed and quickness and athletic ability that doesn’t come around that often,” Morgan said of Brown, who totaled 84 tackles including 14 tackles for loss and 11 sacks his junior season. “He has great agility, great speed and quickness. He’s getting better at using his hands and playing low.”

Brown has the size of a defensive tackle, which may ultimately be his primary position on the next level, but he also has the athleticism and quickness to play end. The UVa staff has mentioned defensive end as his primary position, but expect the talented and versatile prospect to alternate positions.

EDGE Outlook

The defensive line unit has an awful lot of potential and could be a very exciting group to watch in the 2014 season. Promising defensive ends Eli Harold (7 tackles for loss and 3 sacks as a true freshman last season) and Mike Moore will be juniors that year. Defensive tackle David Dean , who started to come on in a big way toward the end of last season, will be a junior. Touted defensive tackles Tyrell Chavis and Donta Wilkins signed in the 2013 class (Wilkins may have to head to prep school this fall), and Brown will be an incoming freshman. All of these players have demonstrated the potential to be significant playmakers on the next level. If Chris Brathwaite is able to return as well, the group looks very promising indeed.

From a recruiting standpoint, a disappointing season followed by significant coaching turnover cast doubt on the Virginia football program, but commitments from Blanding and Brown, Moss and Richardson, demonstrate Mike London’s ability to recruit. Winning consistently is the next crucial step in the growth of the program. As far as class of 2014 recruiting is concerned, Brown’s commitment could serve to help the Hoos close out the class in a strong fashion. I’m not a big believer in players going to a school based solely on one player’s decision, but if a program can land two of the top prospects in the nation, others are sure to take notice.

Below check out two clips of Brown participating in the 2013 Nike Football Training Camp in Ashburn, Virginia. To view his complete junior season highlights, visit Hudl.com by clicking here.