Offensive tackle Chase Brown announced in June that he will attend the University of Pittsburgh, marking the Panthers’ ninth commit of the 2018 recruiting class and — more interestingly — Brown’s third stint at a university.
Brown — unlike most of the class — enters the program with more than two years of college football experience under his belt.
Hailing from Ashburn, Virginia, he originally started his college football career at James Madison University. After being redshirted his first year, he transferred to Lackawanna College in Scranton for three semesters — leaving him with two years of eligibility at Pitt.
During his time at Briar Woods High School in Virginia and at the college level, Brown has learned to acclimate himself to different environments and situations.
“It taught me to be able to adapt,” Brown said. “When I first went to Briar Woods in high school, I was thrown into the starting spot. I was basically forced to learn the playbook faster … at Lackawanna, it was the same situation.”
Brown credits his head coach at Briar Woods, Charlie Pierce, for playing a pivotal role in his development on and off the field. Pierce helped Brown get into contact with Lackawanna, and believes his time there was extremely beneficial.
“Right after [Brown] got … into Lackawanna, the light bulb came on,” Pierce said. “The light bulb came on academic-wise. The light bulb came on from a physical standpoint and he really progressed, it was the best thing to ever happen to him.”
Brown, listed as a three-star recruit by 247sports.com, chose Pitt over offers from other major football programs including Virginia Tech, TCU and West Virginia. He believes discipline is one of his greatest strengths on the field.
“I do pretty well with pulling,” Brown said, referring to a blocking technique. “My punch has gotten a lot better, keeping my hands on [the defense] and not holding. I don’t get many penalties.”
Pitt’s offensive line will look much different in 2018 than it did last season year, with only two starters returning following offensive tackle Brian O’Neill’s departure for the NFL draft and the graduation of seniors Jaryd Jones-Smith, Alex Officer and Brandon Hodges.
“They lost four guys, so I know they’re young,” Brown said. “They told me that when I was getting recruited.”
The chance of immediate playing time was an influential factor in Brown’s decision to come to Pitt.
“That’s one of the main reasons why I committed here, because I saw it was a good opportunity for me to start right away,” Brown said. “Obviously, with Brian O’Neill leaving, that kind of opened the door even more. I just hope to bring some solid tackle play, because I’ll be at tackle. I know we’ve got a tough schedule, a lot of good defensive lines.”
Pierce said Pitt has the right “coaching philosophy” for Brown to succeed as a Panther.
“With his size and his presence, he has the tools to make that happen for himself to be successful at that level,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to these next two years to see how it’ll pan out.”
As one of Pitt’s five midyear enrollees of the 2018 recruiting class, Brown has already had the opportunity to explore Pitt’s campus and take advantage of Pitt’s accommodations.
“It’s been great, I love it,” Brown said. “I love the City, the facilities. Coming from [junior college], we didn’t even have a locker room. It’s been great, I love my teammates. I love the food.”