Downtown with Vernell Brown

The former Gainesville High School player came to the University of Florida to be a wide receiver, which he was last season. Now, <B>Vernell Brown</B> is playing on the other side of the ball, as a defensive back. He began his DB career, and, received a "Best Effort" on Defense Award after the 2002 spring practices.

Vernell Brown

On this spring so far: "I'm feeling great…happy to be back on defense. You don't have to think as much on defense --- just play! Defense -- is just being an athlete. You get out there and learn what you've got to do."

On his position change: "In a way, I'm kind of re-learning (the defense). A whole lot hasn't changed…we still only play a couple of coverages. And, after that, athleticism takes over."

On being familiar with the offense: "We've got some great receivers out here. You still don't know what's coming at what particular time. So, basically, it's just putting your ears back…and, let's play football."

On contributing to the team: "My role now is to compete for a starting position, along with the other great cornerbacks we have out here. And, basically, see how it turns out when the fall gets here."

On his style of play on defense: "I don't have a specific technique. I just come out and compete. He (the wide receiver he's covering) is a great athlete…I'm a great athlete. The best man wins. That's how I feel about it."

On the importance of his upcoming off-season workout regiment: "The off-season is very important for me. Moving to defensive back was kind of a last minute decision, so, I really didn't get a chance to work (too much at DB). I'm getting back into it out here. But, I'm looking forward to the off-season…to get out there and do the things that I need to do by myself…the things I need to do to be a great defensive back."

On new Secondary Coach Dan Disch: "I like Coach Disch. He's a great guy. He knows the system. He's a good teacher. You can learn a lot from him."

Born in Gainesville, and, playing at Gainesville High School, Brown said that, "I always wanted to play for the Gators. My dad, my uncle…just about everybody in my family played for the Gators. So, I always wanted to be a Gator. I grew up a Gator." His father, Vernell, Sr. (1982-85), his Uncle Johnell (1979-82), and, his cousin Mike Peterson (1995-98), all played for the Gators. So, playing for UF just runs in his family.

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