Size makes the difference for Brown

Being dwarfed by another human is a new feeling in the Florida offensive line meeting room. It doesn't happen very often, especially with 10 300-pounders in the room. Then entered junior college transfer Trenton Brown. The 6-8, 363-pound offensive lineman brings girth at offensive tackle and has become one of the most talked about players throughout fall camp by players on both sides of the ball.

Linemen aren't quick to be in shock of the size of other players. You've got to be at or close to 300 pounds to play on the offensive line for the Gators, and they're used to facing players that can be around that weight, too. Trenton Brown brings a new meaning to a large player.

At 6-8, 363 pounds, jaws dropped when he walked into the football facility for the first time over the summer.

"It took us all back. We all felt like we were in third grade again, looking up at a high schooler," 6-6, 312-pound offensive lineman Tyler Moore said. "He's a big guy. I'm not used to looking up at guys. I'm used to looking straight at guys or looking down. I haven't looked up at somebody in a while."?

In the meeting rooms, Brown tries to disappear. He's quiet and doesn't say much, and the coaches have already pegged him as a quiet player. When the coaches are gone, Brown loves to talk. He's always getting laughs out of his teammates, not only because of his size.

When he does say something, the laughs usually come after it. He's a perfect fit for an offensive line meeting room that already likes to keep things loose with position coach Tim Davis.

"Big Trent -- he's like a comedian," left tackle D.J. Humphries said. "We love him. There's not much you can coach about 6-9. He's just massive. He's the man. We love him."

His size can be the butt of a joke in the meeting room. Davis will call on any offensive linemen to walk to the dry erase board at the front of the meeting room and diagram a play. Whenever Brown gets the call to draw something, there are times when the room just starts to laugh at the realization of his size.

It's not that they can forget about a 6-8, 363-pound frame. Seeing him lumber to the front of the room just causes laughter to break out across the room.

"We always pick on him about how huge he is every time I see him," Humphries said. "I'm always like, 'Bro, you're huge.' I've never seen a lineman that big with my own eyes."

The jokes in the meeting rooms likely won't go away any time soon, but they only mean good things for how his teammates view Brown. As he gets more comfortable around his teammates, he's opening up and showing more of his personality. That's what his teammates see daily, and it's a big part

"I feel like a child next to him," Florida's 6-3, 302-pound center Jonotthan Harrison said. "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. He's 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 and we know the potential he has and that he can be a great addition to this offensive line."

As he grows in the meeting room, the practice field is a different situation.

Players take notice whenever they're around Brown, fearing getting stepped on during a play. Moore experienced it on Wednesday night and vowed not to let it happen again.

The real fear this fall has come on the defensive line. Lining up across from someone with Brown's size can bring plenty of fear, but after trying a bull rush, Florida pass rush specialist Dante Fowler soon learned that it wasn't going to work.

"It wasn't great," Fowler said with a laugh about his bull rush attempt.

The issue for someone Brown's size will be his lateral quickness and pad level. Fowler said his speed moves have worked at times to get around Brown, but they haven't been as effective as he expected at the start of fall camp. And that's why Fowler called Brown the toughest offensive lineman to beat on the entire Florida roster.

"Since he's so big, people kind of mistake him for his footwork," Fowler said. "He can get off the ball as quick as we can get off the ball. When you see that big body around you, you don't know what to do. Next thing you know you run into him, and that's not a good thing to do."

The key to beating Brown, if the Gators have found anything that actually has work, is to make sure to use your hands. Once Brown gets his hands on the frame of a defensive lineman, the battle is usually over.

"You've got to keep his hands up and keep your hands active," Florida defensive end Jonathan Bullard said about Brown. "He has been working hard. His biggest attribute is his size and arms. He's got a real long punch. You've got to make sure you don't give up your chest."

Fowler has tried his best to keep that from happening, adding other fears of what could happen.

"I never want Trenton to fall on me," Fowler said with a laugh. "If he does, I'm pretty sure my body will be imprinted in the grass. I don't want that to happen."

The version of Brown that his offensive line teammates see in the meeting room isn't usually present on the practice field. That's when things change. The 6-8, 363-pounder goes from a jolly big man to a mean streak that can add another strength to his game.

Once that mean streak begins, the Florida defensive linemen have found out that they're in trouble.

"He has a nasty streak, but you don't want that nasty streak to come out, I'll tell you that," Fowler said.

The Florida defensive linemen are hoping the mean streak goes away, at least until August 31.

Fightin Gators Top Stories