Knoxville, Tenn., isn't considered a hot spot for spring break, but for the top player in the class 2009 it was the place to be on Friday.
Bryce Brown, the five-star running back from Wichita (Kan.) East, took an unofficial visit to Tennessee on Friday to check out the Vols' in a spring scrimmage. The visit, which will continue through Saturday, comes just three days before he's scheduled to announce his decision at 1 p.m. Monday at the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
Brown and a friend watched the Vols practice scrimmage in front of about 2,000 fans. Brown's father was originally expected to join him on the visit, but he couldn't make it because of a commitment with his job.
According to Volquest.com editor Brent Hubbs, fans recognized Brown at the practice and they started to chant his name. He acknowledged the crowd several times and left before practice ended.
Brian Butler, Brown's advisor, said the trip was a perfect opportunity for Brown to see the Vols' new offense in person. He also said the visit was supposed to be low key, but once people discovered the nation's best player was on campus in Knoxville, it was hard to keep it a secret anymore.
"Bryce and his family didn't want to make a big deal of out of it," Butler said. "Once he found out there was a scrimmage going on, it worked out perfectly for him to get a chance to see them. Tennessee has a new product, and he's not had anything to really gauge what the new offense is going to be like.
"This was a great opportunity for him to see what their ffense is like. He said he's having a really good time out there. I've talked to coaches at the other schools recruiting him since word has gotten out, and I've told them that it was nothing more than a chance to see what the new Tennessee system is like and not to read too much into it."
Brown visited LSU, Clemson, Oregon, Tennessee, Kansas State and Missouri. Clemson and Missouri appear to be out of the mix. He had been previously committed to Miami, but there have been published reports that the Hurricanes no longer are actively recruiting Brown.