Brown's Quick Rehab Helped the Gators

Friday night was full of uncertainty for Jeremy Brown. After missing the two seasons because of injury, Saturday's opener against Miami (OH) was set to be his first time on the field as a Gator. That was until an ankle injury during Thursday's practice put his chances in jeopardy.

Head coach Urban Meyer said they were ready to count Jeremy Brown out of the game after the injury.

However, Brown wasn't ready to give up.

He spent hours with the training staff Friday night and what seemed like even longer trying to convince Meyer he was ready to play. The head coach continued to remind Brown that it was a long season and pushing the injury for one game wouldn't be smart.

"The great training staff put together a plan the night before," Brown said. "We just iced it and stayed off it. Come Saturday, I was able to maintain. A good tape job sped it up."

Brown's ability to play was important when Moses Jenkins went down with an injury. Jenkins hyper extended his elbow, which will hold him out for a minimum of six weeks.

Even though the injury means Brown will be on the field more often, he was upset. The two players have grown close since their battles that began in the spring.

"It was a tragedy," Brown said. "We've been competing all spring, and that carried into the summer. Then in fall camp competing with him, I just told him I'd pray for him because I know how injuries are. He took it pretty tough. I just told him to keep his head up."

The injury also means that Brown must stay healthy and produce, or the Gators will be forced to put freshmen on the field. Joshua Shaw, Jaylen Watkins and Cody Riggs have played well in practice, but the Florida coaches would love to use this year to develop them on the practice field and gain trust in them.

"It definitely puts pressure on me to step up," Brown said. "Behind me and Janoris, we've got three freshmen. I know how that is. It's a little tougher come in as a true freshman, even though it has been done. It's time to turn it up a little bit."

Brown and Janoris Jenkins came to campus together, and they now will be the two starting cornerbacks for the Gators. They spent time as freshmen talking about what it would be like to take the field in The Swamp as the two starting cornerbacks, and this Saturday will be their opportunity.

"It's weird because when I first got here, Janoris was my roommate," Brown said. "We really did talk about it a lot. People put us together to take pictures and have us sign (autographs) together. It's special with how good he is and how his career has just taken off, to be able to play alongside him, it's extra special."

When they do run out of the tunnel Saturday, the Gators will see a team across the field with much more talent than Miami had last weekend. USF has plenty of athletes to give the Gators trouble.

Possibly their best athlete is at the quarterback position. B.J. Daniels took over the reigns last year when Matt Grothe was hurt, and he led the team to victory at Florida State in his first start. He presents issues with a powerful arm and athleticism to make him a top dual threat quarterback.

Their offense uses multiple looks to get one-on-one with cornerbacks and wide receivers, trying to allow the USF receivers a chance to make a play.

"Their quarterback is a little different from previous quarterbacks," Brown said. "He's almost like (Michael) Vick back there because he can move. Watching film on him this morning, he's very versatile. He can boot both ways. Most quarterbacks usually go to the strong side."
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