What the Browns can do for the Gators in 2013

By Adam Silverstein
August 22, 2013

There is not much that Georgia products redshirt junior running back Mack Brown and junior offensive lineman Trenton Brown have in common aside from their last name, but the two upperclassmen could have a lot to say about how successful the Florida Gators will be over the course of the 2013 season.

Mack Brown has played in 25 games during his four years but has amassed just 167 yards on 40 carries with a career long of 13. He was passed on the depth chart in 2012 by Matt Jones, and the sophomore will likely leap Brown once again when he returns from his serious viral infection.

In the meantime, Mack Brown is Florida’s first-string running back, and he’s acting like he’s not just ready for the opportunity but prepared to make an impact.

“[The] confidence is coming back, getting my groove back. Running with the ones, we’ll see what I can do,” he said last week. “I know my protections and stuff so I know the offense inside and out. I’m just going to keep practicing and doing what I have to do. [I know the blocking schemes] and I’m healthy now. That’s the main thing. Whatever coach needs me to do, I’ll do it.”

Though Mack Brown says he does not regret his career path at Florida – “I met a lot of good teammates. I played with great coaches.” – he did acknowledge that “things happen for a reason.” He feels like the lack of repetitions he has had throughout his career caused him to lose his confidence, which he is just now regaining.

“Throughout the season, my coach told me the last couple of games I’m gonna get a lot of reps to rest [Mike] Gillislee because he was getting kind of hurt sometimes,” he said. “When I got hurt, I was like, ‘I lost my chance.’ This whole offseason, I’ve just been thinking about the last couple of games, not contributing to my team, not being able to play the bowl game. I just tried to train harder this summer, and I feel like it paid off.”

Mack Brown’s teammates are noticing. Junior fullback Hunter Joyer, who has spent the last few weeks blocking for him, thinks he has taken a step forward.

“[He’s] just staying focused and being in his playbook and knowing exactly what to do on every play,” Joyer said. “He’s stepped up as a leader as well. He’s been here a while and he’s trying to lead these young guys as well. He boosts up the younger guys, tells them when they need to step up and is a leader on the offense.”

Yet while Mack Brown is happy to be the main guy, he knows the Gators need Jones back as soon as possible. “We need three backs in the SEC,” he said.

Junior college transfer Trenton Brown has been an even bigger – both literally and figuratively – surprise for his teammates. At 6-foot-8 and 363 pounds, he is by far the most massive member of the Florida football program.

He spent his first two years of college playing offensive line at Georgia Military College, helping lead his backfield to an average of 188 yards per game. Now, after transferring to UF, he’s fighting for playing time with the Gators on the offensive line and in special teams blocking situations.

“We use some extra linemen situations, and he’ll certainly be a guy that will figure into that,” head coach Will Muschamp said last week. “Right now he needs to get assignment-oriented at the right tackle position and that’s what we’re focused on right now. It’s one step at a time making sure he feels comfortable there.”

Ask Trenton Brown’s teammates, however, and his natural size and ability makes him out to be a major impediment to getting to the quarterback.

“He’s really big to get around,” said sophomore Buck linebacker Dante Fowler, who has been squaring off with him in practice. “He’s got a little nasty streak, but you don’t want that nasty streak to come out, I can tell you that. Just going against him, being able to compete against him, that’s making us better as players.”

Fowler joked that while he can beat Trenton Brown around the edge with his speed, the size factor is absolutely not something that can be ignored.

“He’s scary. I never want Trenton to ever fall on me, because if he does, I’m pretty sure my body will be printed in the grass. I don’t want that to happen.”

Trenton Brown’s massive presences has even been a shock to the players he shares a meeting room with on a daily basis.

“Golly, I feel like a child next to him. Really, I do,” said redshirt senior center Jonotthan Harrison.

Added redshirt sophomore Tyler Moore: “We all felt like we were in third grade again looking up to a middle schooler or high schooler. He’s a big guy. I’m not used to looking at big guys. I’m used to looking at guys or down. I haven’t looked up in a while.”

While Trenton Brown is still amazing his teammates, sophomore left tackle D.J. Humphries sees a lighter side to the behemoth.

“Big Trent is like a comedian. We love Trent. We love him,” he said. “Coach said he doesn’t talk a lot, but he always talks around us. Trent, there’s not much you can coach about 6’9”. He’s just massive, you know what I mean. Trent is the man though.”

Harrison thinks Trenton Brown is slowly acclimating to the meeting room and Florida football program in general. It is only a matter of time, he says, before he is making an impact on game days for UF’s suddenly deep offensive line.

“He’s a big boy, big joker. He’s kind of quiet, but he’s slowly opening up to us, which we really appreciate,” Harrison said. “I saw him and I’m like, ‘That’s a big man. He can be a monster as long as he puts his mind to it.’ And we’ve been seeing that.

“Day one, he started a little slow but now it’s like night and day from the first day of camp. He’s just really working hard. He’s buying into the process, buying into the program and realizing that us being on him is because we know he can be great. We know the potential he has and that he can really be a great addition to the line.”

Of course, aside from the two aforementioned Browns, redshirt senior defensive back Jeremy Brown remains on the Gators’ roster as he enters his sixth season of eligibility.

After missing the entire 2011 campaign with a knee injury, Brown was slowed by a fractured bone in his wrist last summer and played sparingly last season. He enters his final year in orange and blue hoping to contribute in any way he possibly can.

“It’s my last go-around. I want to have a good season, stay healthy,” he said in March. “If I can just be healthy and get these young guys going, be a good mentor and perform when my number is called, that will be a success for me.”

One Comment

  1. HeadOfficial says:

    Will the Trenton Brown story made into a movie? Maybe Sandra Bullock can do “Blind Side 2”!

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