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National Signing Day: Georgia offensive lineman Orlando Brown the biggest — literally and figuratively — surprise for Oklahoma

by Jason Kersey Published: February 5, 2014

His wife and three sons relocated to Duluth, Ga., after his death, which came during Orlando Jr.'s sophomore year of high school.

“I think they wanted to relocate and get a new start with things,” Fleetwood said. “It had been a lot on them.”

Brown began working on getting in shape after that first meeting with Fleetwood. 

The coach remembers Brown being unable to properly squat a 45-pound barbell with no added weight.

“He could get down, but he wasn't gonna get down in any deep parallel squat by any means,” Fleetwood said. “It's harder for the long guys to be strong and lift weights. 

“But he's been working his tail off In the weight room.”


Brown committed to Tennessee last May, and fully intended to honor that commitment by eventually signing with the Volunteers.

But over the last month, he started having second thoughts. Oklahoma had always been his second choice, so Brown researched the Sooners a little more — and was very impressed by OU's Sugar Bowl upset of Alabama.

“Tennessee did a really good job with him early,” Fleetwood said. “Here toward the end, he just decided that maybe he hadn't seen this thing out the right way. 

“Orlando has been really big about watching and exploring depth charts and all of this other stuff, and he's always said to me, ‘Oklahoma puts so many tackles in the pros. It's unbelievable.'”

And getting to the NFL is Brown's ultimate goal. Not to match his father's accomplishments, but to surpass them.

“I've never looked at his shoes as big shoes,” Brown said. “I've always felt like I could accomplish what he accomplished and do what he did, but I want to do better. That's really what I strive for.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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