COVINGTON, Ga. — Jamari Brown kicked off the new week by receiving an answer to some long-time prayers.
Brown, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound wide receiver and defensive back at Eastside wasn’t at school a full three hours before he received the most exciting news he’s gotten so far in his recruiting process.
Brown was offered by South Florida Monday morning. Given the fact that the USF overture was his 11th football scholarship offer, it may not seem like that big of a deal — unless you talk to Brown himself. Then you realize how huge it is.
“That’s the big one,” Brown said.
Big because Brown, a native of Kendall, Florida — which is a four hour drive away from the USF campus — has always had the notion of returning to the Sunshine State to play college football tucked away in the back of his mind, even as he’s received offers from the likes of Ball State, Navy, UT-Chattanooga and Bowling Green.
The USF offer was so big, in fact, that he immediately got on the phone to notify his prayer partner.
“My grandma was the first person I called when I found it, because I knew her and I used to sit down and pray together about getting an offer from USF,” he said. “And now that I have it, I know I could make her proud. She was so excited to hear that.”
Brown said Eastside offensive coordinator Jay Cawthon called Brown into head coach Troy Hoff's office to explain to him how USF had been in contact and wanted to offer.
If Brown chooses to head to Tampa the Bulls’ style of play could bode well for his explosive skill set.
Brown tallied 45 tackles, including 31 solo stops as a junior in 2017. He led the team with five interceptions and six pass breakups, and also caught 23 passes for 278 yards and a score.
He also proved himself a dangerous special teams weapon with returning four kickoffs for 30 or more yards last year, including a 75 yarder for a score in last year’s season opener against Luella.
USF (10-2, 6-2) finished second in the American Athletic Conference last year behind undefeated Central Florida while boasting one of the most prolific offenses in college football. USF lost 49-42 to UCF in an epic shootout during the AAC Championship game, but went on to defeat Texas Tech 38-34 in the Birmingham Bowl.
All of USF’s success hasn’t been lost on Brown. In fact, he talked like he’s truly been a student of the program’s progress.
“I look at the program as if it’s in its prime right now,” he said. “Also, I was watching a bit of their UCF game, and it looked like to me they ran something like a 4-2-5. Four d-linemen, two linebackers with five defensive backs on the field at all times. Also, in some scenarios, it looked like there was a nickel back on the field sometimes, so it’s plenty of chances for me to do what I have to do to get playing time.”
Brown said that although he was over the moon regarding the offer, he’s still going to resist the temptation to make a knee-jerk college decision.
“I’m going to still take my time and look through everything about the school and football,” he said. “But yeah. That’s still a big one.”