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February 5, 2014

Signing Day 2014: Caanan Brown

Signee: Caanan Brown
Linebacker, Clearwater (FL) Clearwater Central Catholic
6-foot-3, 225 pounds

Rankings: Two-star (5.4).

Other offers: Brown also held offers from Air Force, Illinois, FAU, FIU, Buffalo and UMass.

How he chose UVa: Brown committed to UVa following a visit to Charlottesville in late May. He held offers from a few other schools but during his trip to Virginia, he said he realized that the school had all that he was looking for.

Brown attends Clearwater Central Catholic, the same school that former Virginia tight end Paul Freedman attended and Brown's coach said that the future linebacker had a chance to talk with Freedman before he took his visit to Charlottesville.

Brown was pursued by a few schools after his commitment to Virginia but he never wavered. The Sunshine State native was able to return to Grounds to take in UVa's game against Clemson in November.

Brown is the third player from the Florida to sign with UVa since Mike London has been the head coach, joining quarterback Michael Strauss and linebacker Demetrie Brim.

Why he matters: Brown fits the prototype that defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta likes in outside linebackers. He's tall and athletic but also strong enough to line up at end and get after the quarterback in certain looks.

Brown's role could be very similar to that of rising sophomore linebacker Max Valles, where a big part of his role in the defense is pass rush. The Virginia staff thinks they found a steal in Brown, as well as fellow outside linebacker J.J. Jackson, a duo that UVa feels has been undervalued during the recruiting cycle.

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