Updated at 11 p.m.
Making an appearance Wednesday on the Southeastern Conference’s weekly media teleconference, Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp announced that redshirt junior cornerback Jeremy Brown has resumed practicing with the team after missing the season opener against Bowling Green.
Brown, who sat out the entire 2011 season with a knee injury after starting at cornerback for Florida in 2010, returned to working out extensively with the team this summer but fractured his wrist and had surgery on July 18.
He was reevaluated on Aug. 28 to see if he could begin practicing before the first game of the season but was not cleared and did not play last Saturday. Muschamp said he rejoined the team this week and impressed with what he was able to do on the field.
“Obviously Jeremy Brown coming back is going to be a difference for us as well,” he said Wednesday. “Jeremy Brown is ready to go. He actually looked really good [Tuesday], moving around and some things. He will play in the game.”
Speaking later in the day, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said that Brown’s ability to come back once again from a major injury is a testament to his work ethic and spirit. It also sets a great example for the team as a whole.
“Jeremy Brown coming back really is a great story of, ‘hang in there and keep persevering.’ I was really excited to see him come back,” Quinn said. “You know he’s had some set-backs over the last year and a half.
“For him to get out and be back I thought was really a big lift for our team and a good message, too, to say you don’t always get a chance to control what happens but you do have a chance to control how you react to it. I thought that was a good message for him and for the younger players on the team. Sometimes it doesn’t go your way but if you keep hanging in there usually you can come out the other end.”
The Gators very much need Brown against the Texas A&M Aggies. Muschamp expects Florida to be rotating defensive backs all game long, something he feels is quite necessary considering the speed of the Aggies’ offense and how many snaps they will be taking over the course of the game.
“We’re going to be in some situations where we’ll have six DBs on the field, especially with a high-tempo offense like [Texas A&M runs],” he said. “They’re going to be on-the-ball snapping. So they’re going to be taking a lot of snaps. It’s going to be hot, so we’re going to have to roll and play a bunch of guys.”
The wrist injury was Brown’s fourth major ailment since joining the Gators as a true freshman in 2008. He began experiencing back problems that summer and missed his freshman year as well as the entire 2009 campaign.
When Brown did play in 2010 he started 10 of the 11 games in which he played, missing the final two regular season contests with a strained hamstring before returning to compete in the Outback Bowl. He was eighth in the SEC with five passes defended and also registered three interceptions that season.