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Saturday, June 29, 2013
Teams that missed on Brown go to Plan B

By Derek Tyson

Now that five-star defensive tackle Andrew Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Oscar Frommel Smith) has verbally committed to Virginia, his other four finalists -- Alabama, FSU, Virginia Tech and Clemson -- are forced to look in other directions. Here's a closer look at some of the targets they are considering:

Alabama has commitments from two defensive tackles, O.J. Smith (Bossier City, La./Airline) and Johnny Dwight (Rochelle, Ga./Wilcox County), and is looking to add at least one more. Elisha Shaw (Tucker, Ga./Tucker), the No. 7-ranked defensive tackle in the country, appears to be the top target. Gerrald Willis III (New Orleans/Edna Karr) and Garrald McDowell (Covington, La./Covington) are other options.

Like Alabama, Florida State already has two defensive tackle commits in Demarcus Christmas (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee) and Blake McClain (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood). The Noles are considering other top defensive tackles such as Willis III, Lamont Gaillard (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest) and Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln), who visited FSU over the spring.

Virginia Tech has no committed interior defensive linemen but is targeting four-star prospects from Virginia Ricky Walker (Hampton, Va./Bethel) and Derrick Nnadi (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes).

Clemson, like Virginia Tech, has no committed defensive tackles in its 2014 class. The Tigers have focused their attention on three-star tackle Naquez Pringle (Hemingway, S.C./Carvers Bay), four-star DT Dexter Wideman (Saluda, S.C./Saluda) and three-star Jeremy Patterson (Jesup, Ga./Wayne County).

Though Brown is extremely talented and would have been a huge addition for any of his finalists, the remaining schools on his list have shown a propensity to secure top talent, specifically along the defensive line, over the past several years. Expect Alabama, FSU, Clemson and Virginia Tech to sign their fair share of top talent along the defensive line when all is said and done.