COVINGTON, Ga. — Jamari Brown will be going back home.
On Tuesday just after Noon, the 5-foot-11,175-pound receiver and defensive back shared with his Twitter followers his decision to commit to Florida A&M.
The move to commit to a Florida school from a Florida native shouldn’t surprise anyone. But what may be mildly shocking to some is the Florida school Brown chose. Conventional wisdom perhaps said that when Brown got the offer from South Florida — one that he said he’d prayed to receive — USF was a lock.
But just a couple of days after receiving his official offer letter from the Tallahassee Historically Black College (HBCU), Brown decided that the Rattlers’ program was the way to go.
"USF and I fell off interest wise, and I just grew closer to FAMU," Brown said. "I felt that inside of me, FAMU was the college that really suits me best out of all the scholarships I have received. That's my home."
Florida A&M is a Division I Football Championship Subdivision school that competes in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), along with other HBCUs, and it finished with a 3-8 record last season.
Brown chose Florida A&M over close to a dozen other schools, including USF, Navy, Ball State, Tennessee-Chattanooga and Bowling Green. He was a do-it-all sort of player for Eastside in 2017, finishing the year as the team’s leading receiver with 23 catches, 278 yards and a touchdown, and from his cornerback spot, he typically was in charge of locking down the opponent’s top receiver.
Brown led the county with five interception in 2017, had six pass breakups and showed himself dangerous in the kick and punt return game. He said the Rattlers' coaching staff has recruited him as an athlete, and he'll go with the hopes of finding the field early.
"If I can compete, I'll be able to play, and I'm willing to do so," he said. "May the best man win."
Despite Brown having interest and offers from schools with more successful football track records, the Eastside senior said it was "hope" that really spurred on his decision.
"I feel that this program at FAMU gives me hope on all levels, both on and off the field," he said. "It gives me that feeling that when I leave FAMU, I'll leave as a better player, a better student and just a better man."