Since he began the recruiting process a few months ago, Jeremy Brown’s name and the Florida Gators have been constantly linked. Even though he’s had some flirtation with out of state schools and he took some visits to some of Florida’s SEC rivals, at some point everybody figured he would put an end to the recruiting process and announce for the Gators. Saturday evening, Brown made it official. He’s a Gator.
“I just feel a lot better about a whole lot of stuff and I can focus on my senior season now that this decision is out of the way,” Brown told Gator Country.
When Brown attended a Florida junior day back in February, he had a feeling that this was the right place to be. He had a feeling the Gators are on a very special run and he thought he might want to be a part of it. He kept coming back to Gainesville and every time he visited, he knew this was where he wanted to be.
“My first visit was for a junior day and I went with a ton of other prospects,” Brown said. “Then later they invited me back and it was more of a one-on-one thing. That was the visit I knew. I talked to Coach (Urban) Meyer and we had a great one on one conversation. We walked around the campus and I just remember thinking how easily I could see myself there.
“Then I kind of had a feeling about Florida, but I just wanted to look at others to make sure,” he said. “That was it though. When Coach Meyer looked my dad in the eye and said ‘I want to coach your son’, that’s when I knew. When he told me that, it set a high standard for other coaches and schools.”
It was a family decision all the way for the Brown family. Notre Dame and North Carolina were impressive but they couldn’t match up to Florida. Now that he’s made the choice, the family couldn’t be happier. They’ve been supportive all the way, guiding him through the recruiting process.
“My dad is very excited about this decision,” Brown said. “My mom played a big part in my decision too. They both helped me out. My dad is excited that it’s close to home and he only travels an hour and thirty minutes away. He and Coach Meyer are really cool too. They talk on numerous occasions with the one phone call during the week and they’ve established a nice little relationship. My dad is thrilled to see what Coach Meyer is doing up there.”
Because the Gators are the national champions and one of the top ranked teams in the country this year, Brown feels it is an honor to be a Gator. He knows there are plenty of players across the country that would trade places with him in a heartbeat.
“For me to be able to focus on my senior season knowing that I’m committed to the national champions is great,” said Brown. “For Coach Meyer, Coach (Chuck) Heater and the rest of the coaching staff to let me commit early and be a part of something like that is just special. I’m blessed to have this opportunity.”
Academics played a big part in the Gators landing a commitment from this outstanding 5-10, 160-pound cornerback.
“I want to get a business degree,” Brown said. “That’s another thing I’m excited about. When we talked about academics, they really focused on it. It wasn’t where they just touched it, they actually focused on it. I was talking to professors about how they’re ranked number 17 in the nation for public schools and the business program is one of their strong points. It’s just the total package. That degree is very strong.”
A benefit that Coach Meyer has preached since his arrival in Gainesville has been the three great rivalry games the Gators play every year. Brown made his commitment the night the Gators made it three straight over the Tennessee Vols, one of the Gators big three rivals. Being in The Swamp when Florida took care of business Saturday was almost too good to be true for Brown.
“Oh man, it was just crazy,” Brown said. “Seeing those players before the game was great because I love to see how focused they are. They were almost as if they were going to handle business. That’s how I am though, when a big game comes around, I try to get up and seeing them do that was great. But seeing them take care of business was the best. They had question marks on defense, but they stayed disciplined. They just put it on them.”
You’ll hear people praise Brown’s work ethic on the football field, and there is no doubt that will translate to his ability to recruit for the Gators.
“I got to talk with Patrick Johnson, Brandon Harris and Will Hill,” Brown said. “We all hung out together. Will Hill and I hit it off real well. We talked a lot about the chances of us being teammates and what Florida is doing right now. I remember telling him and Brandon Harris how great it would be to be teammates with those guys. As special as these past two classes have been, it would be awesome for us to bring in another one. We exchanged numbers and I’ll definitely be staying in contact with those guys.”
Even on his visit, Brown was somewhat of a social butterfly. The atmosphere some of the younger Gator players provided him played a huge part in his decision to become a Gator. No doubt he loves everything about the team, but connecting well with the current players played a large role in his decision.
“I wouldn’t say I really had a host,” Brown said. “It was me, Major Wright, Moses Jenkins, Joe Haden, one of the Pouncey twins and Jaye Howard. We really just hung out and went around Gainesville together. We were all just laughing and having a good time, and that’s actually another thing that played into my decision. When I went down there and hung out with them, everybody is so cool. You’d think some of those guys who are as highly recruited as they are, like the Chris Raineys and the Hadens, would be stuck up thinking they were the best. The whole time they were all down to earth and just telling me how great the place was. I fit in perfectly.”
Now that he’s made a decision, the recruiting process is all over for Brown. There will be no Tour De America now that he’s made up his mind.
“No more official visits,” Brown said. “That, to me, would be disrespectful. My commit is solid and I don’t want to go anywhere else. I’m done and I’m 100 percent Gator.”