October 7, 2009

Brown looking forward to Homecoming

Freshman Marlon Brown tried to act like this was no big deal.

He wasn't very convincing.

"No man, it's the same old week," smiled Brown, whose story about how he eschewed the University of Tennessee for Georgia is well-known in Bulldog-land.

When Lane Kiffin replaced Phillip Fulmer as head coach of the Vols last December, Brown's number was one of the first ones he called.

Getting the 6-foot-5, 200-pounder to Knoxville was one of Kiffin's first priorities, but it obviously didn't work out.

While Brown admits he might have had some initial interest in Tennessee, his grandmother wanted no part of Kiffin, who on Signing Day last February was asked about missing out on the Memphis native.

"Basically every kid that we offered in this state we signed, except for Marlon," Kiffin said. "Marlon called (the night before signing day) and said that he loved it here, but his grandmother wouldn't let him come. I don't know what you do about that."

Brown said it was a little more to it than that.

The bond he built with Georgia's coaches also played a huge role, although Brown didn't deny that his grandmother's feelings toward Kiffin did play a part in his decision.

"That was the truth; she just wasn't comfortable with me going there. That's what it was," Brown said. "But I'm not living in the past now."

Still, Brown, who has appeared in just one game for the Bulldogs, admits Saturday's game will be a little special.

After all, he's visited there a number of times, first as a freshman before attending a basketball camp there his sophomore year. As a junior, Brown made two recruiting visits to Tennessee and three more his senior year.

"I've been getting calls and texts from everybody," Brown said. "Everybody's asking if I'm going to play this weekend. That's not my decision, but it's going to be interesting I guess, 100,000 people booing you."

Brown's role could be bigger than he thinks.

Wideouts Tavarres King and Rantavious Wooten were both held out of practice Tuesday for undisclosed reasons and if either is unable to go, Brown's playing time against the Vols would seem almost assured.

If so, Brown says he'll be ready.

"I'll just go in and produce, simple as that," Brown said. "I'll just go in and do my assignments and do them full speed."

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said that Brown's getting close to finally getting more time on the field.

"He did some good things today, but he just needs to get a little consistent on some things," Bobo said after Tuesday's practice. "We're still planning on getting him ready to play. We thought we'd get him some more time last week but it just didn't happen.

"But I think he's close. I know I say that every week, but it's to the point where we've got to get these young guys in. As coaches, we just need to put them in and let them grow, kind of like what we did with Wooten."

Brown believes he's ready to take the next step.

"I'm almost there, man. I just need to work on some of the small things. It's all going to be good," he said. "For me, it's just all about focusing, that's about it. When I go in, I know I'll have a job to do."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!