"Last year I grey shirted so I wasn't around the team a whole lot," said Terence Brown. "I lifted in the mornings as a walk-on, but even in regards to that there is a big change. You know, I like to consider myself as being a hard worker and I thought I worked hard last year, but when I came in during January I saw the intensity and the level at which we did things was a lot different, and the expectations by the coaches were a lot different and we had to reach those expectations every day. The way things are done are different and the level at which things are done are different."
Following a leg injury suffered during spring camp, Brown has been thrust into action alongside starters that are receiving national recognition for the play of previous years. Brown knows the true test of strength of this offensive line rests upon its newest players, and that is a lot of pressure for a true freshman.
"I'm playing now as a true freshman but I can't play like one," he said. "There can't be a weak link on the offensive line or you don't have one. There can't be just four players on that line. There has to be five players working together as five complete blockers that are going to play together and play hard.
"I saw the expectations I had to reach. I saw the way Jake plays, the way Eddie plays and the way Lance plays and saw where I needed to be. It's nice to have Dallas along side of me as a true freshman because everyday we work together to make ourselves better to compete at the level of these other guys to make our offensive line complete."
Brown has leaned upon his fellow O-line teammates to more rapidly learn the position at the level BYU coaches expect, and for him to be successful as one of the newest members of offensive line.
"To be honest, I'm pretty fortunate to come into a situation where I have Jake [Kuresa] there to help me on the right and Lance [Reynolds] in the middle at center," said Brown. "Then to have Brian Sanders at right guard to help me out there as we rotate with the guards, and then to have Eddie [Keele] there at the tackle it's a great group of guys to come in and play with because they've been here for awhile and they know what's going on. These guys are really good players and they've helped us younger guys like me and Dallas [Reynolds] step up, and they make me and Dallas step up and not play like freshman. We can't play like freshman. We have to step up and play better than that and these guys and Coach Grimes have helped us with that."
To his left stands 6'4", 339-pound, 2005 Outland Trophy candidate and Street & Smith's Preseason Honorable Mention All-American Jake Kuresa. To his right stands 6'2", 303 pound 2005 Rimington Trophy candidate and Phil Steele's Preseason Honorable Mention All-American Lance Reynolds. The bar has been set and playing next to Kuresa and Reynolds has been one of the best all-around learning experiences for Brown.
"Jake has taught me how to be confident," Brown said. "To have the mindset that no one can beat you and that you are the best at the position where you are at, and if you think that, you will play like that and no one will beat you. Having him right beside me has also taught me how to play hard and be aggressive, like if I'm free during a pass block to go after someone and put someone on the ground and punish people. There were times when I was covering a zone blitz coming from the other side and I see Jake's guy just drop. Then he comes and just drills my guy from the side. Just drills him. He's just taught me to play with intensity and to play hard.
"Jake came in young and played too, just like me, and he's been helping me go through that as well. He's taught me to go out there and play my game like I know how to play because the first time I stepped out onto that field with all those fans it was like, wow! He helped prep me for that and let me know that everything is going to be alright and to just play your game at that first play."
While Kuresa has helped Brown with his intensity and aggression, Reynolds has been more of a cerebral mentor.
"Lance has taught me how to be a student of the game," said Brown. "With being the center you have to obviously know everything like plays and formations, and he's taught me how to recognize things how to communicate that down the line. He's taught me how to recognize little things like maybe the linebackers are stacked a little bit to the right so make your call that way. Little things like that that help you see the whole picture and not to just be focused on one guy who's in front of you, but to see everything and be prepared for it. Lance isn't as big as some of the rest of us offensive linemen but he works just as hard and he's just as good, so he's taught me how to study the game, understand the different defensive schemes and work hard.
"I'm very lucky and I feel blessed to be playing between these two guys because they've raised my level even more. They're not going to let me be mediocre and everyday they're giving me tips, pointers and anything they see they will let me know."
Looking back, Brown doesn't have any regrets about giving up those football scholarships to play in the SEC or ACC conferences. Manning the guard position next to Kuresa and Reynolds is right where he wants to be.
"The effort we put into making sure we're ready along with how hard we work makes me so happy to be in this program right now," said Brown. "The steps we are taking are really helping this program improve. I know it's on its way up and I believe that. I believe we will see the validation of our hard work, so I'm looking forward to the time were we see that happen."