Playing With a New Perspective

Having been home from his mission for some time now, offensive lineman Terence Brown is more focused than ever when he puts on his helmet and shoulder pads. An integral part of BYU's revamped offensive line, Brown plays with a new perspective and a purpose greater than himself. It's a perspective he's gained since being a missionary on the streets of Maceio, Brazil.

Terence Brown is one big offensive lineman. The 6-foot-3-inch, 340-pound sophomore from South Carolina played a big part protecting former Cougar quarterback John Beck back in 2005. After serving a mission in Maceio, Brazil, Brown redshirted during the 2008 season upon his return to BYU. Over the past year he's faced some challenges due to the two-year layoff and has had to get himself back to playing at a top level on a consistent basis.

"The desire is there, it's just being in shape and having that intensity every single play," Brown said. "I think that's the most difficult thing for me because I don't like to go all-out one play and then take a play off. The difficult thing for me is being there every single play, but I've felt really good about fall camp so far. Sure, I've made some mistakes, but I feel like I've made a lot of improvement. The fire is there and I want to be back out there playing and I want to win. I'm starting to get that fire back and I want to go out there and knock some guys around."

It's understandable how being away from such a physical game and sacrificing athleticism, strength, endurance and technique in order to teach people the gospel for two years would set an athlete back. It's hard to find any rational logic behind the notion that one could gain improvement in their field of occupation following a two-year hiatus, and that is certainly the case when it comes to playing sports.

Yet for all the disadvantages an offensive lineman may face, Brown feels he has gained one advantage from his missionary experiences.

"Being away from the game is tough for a lot of guys," said Brown. "You go away from the game for that many years and it can take a toll on you, but honestly, for me I think it has helped me in other ways. It's become an advantage for me because for me personally, things have been put into perspective, and now I have a greater reason why I play football.

"I have a purpose as to why I'm out here. It's not just ‘Hey, it's football and I'm having fun.' I play football for a reason because I have a different perspective, so for me that has become an advantage for me. I'm not just out here goofing off, but have focused my efforts due to my perspectives."

Doing something for a greater purpose may have been a perspective Brown gained while serving in Brazil, but the fact that he has since become married and has a family has only reinforced that internal disposition he gained while on the streets of Maceio.

"I have a family and I have a wife," Brown said. "I don't come out there on the football field just because I'm expected to. I come out there because I play for a reason. Sure, you're going to have some bad days, but you have to put things into perspective. But the big advantage that I've learned is you have to first gain that perspective, and I have it. It makes things a lot easier when you're motivated to do something for a greater purpose."

For Brown, the advantage he's gain deals more with mentality. Football is a mental sport on top of being a physical one. Being able to join the physical part of football with the mental side of the game is a challenge that still has to be overcome.

"The challenge now is you have that perspective mentally but you still have the physical side of performing on the football field. That can be tough. I can look at something and say, ‘Hey this is what's going to happen and what I need to do.' For me it's a huge advantage mentally, but now you have to get your mind and body to work together in order to be effective."

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