Vols' prized freshman Brown 'welcomed' to SEC
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
Freshman running back Bryce Brown was one of the more ballyhooed prospects in the country when he signed with Tennessee back in March, more than a month after national signing day.
On Thursday, he got his first unofficial welcome to the SEC.
With the Vols sporting shoulder pads for the first time this preseason, linebacker Herman Lathers unloaded on Brown during an 11-on-11 drill, sending Brown spiraling to the turf and the ball flying.
"It's just, 'Welcome to SEC ball,' " Lathers said.
The loose translation: You ain't in Wichita, Kan., anymore.
Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin said it's better that Brown gets acclimated now to those kind of "big-time, game-time major hits" than the first game, which is one of the reasons the Vols haven't held back to this point even though the first day in full pads isn't until Saturday.
"That's what we need to do," Kiffin said. "This conference is going to hit him like this. They're not going to take it easy on him. He needs that."
The 6-foot, 215-pound Brown, who was rated by Scouts Inc. as the country's No. 2 running back prospect last year, took at least three punishing hits Thursday. But he kept coming back for more.
"I doubt he's been hit like that before," Kiffin said. "Some guys get hit like that and they stay down for a while. He bounced right back up."
It's pretty obvious where Brown is in the pecking order. He's wearing No. 11, which had belonged to sophomore receiver Todd Campbell back in the spring.
Not anymore. Campbell is now wearing No. 85.
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State