For one thing, he is sporting a beard, something that’s a no-no under school rules. More importantly, Brown is 25 pounds lighter and that’s what he’s hoping will make the difference as he tries to earn a job with the Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent.
“I think it’s something I really needed to do,” said Brown, who was listed at 303 pounds at the time of the draft. “I feel like I’m an athlete. If you go back and look, I ran the fastest 40 for a center in the nation, if you compare them all and everything. I felt that was the best way to showcase the ability that I have. Obviously be at a weight where I can be agile and quick and try and show them I can do some stuff maybe.”
Indeed, according to nfldraftscout.com, Brown’s 40-yard dash time was the best among all the centers available in this year’s draft.
Brown says scouts at his Pro Day workout agreed on a time of 5.03, while nfldraftscout.com lists him with a 5.05. Either way, it was a positive development for the South Carolina native.
“I was stoked about that,” Brown said. “Hopefully that gave me a chance. Maybe that’s what the Dolphins saw and said, hey, let’s give this guy a shot, maybe he’s all right.”
While he never earned all-conference honors while at BYU, Brown was good enough to start all of the team’s 39 games over the past three seasons.
That followed Brown’s redshirt season in 2008, which came after Brown served a two-year church mission in Brazil.
“I loved it,” Brown said of the experience. “Of course, you get thrown in down there, you don’t know Portuguese, you don’t know anything. You learn Portuguese and then you just teach about Jesus Christ and our beliefs and those things and help the people and do service and help out any way you can. The Brazilian people are amazing, good people. It was a lot of fun.”
As the result of the church mission, Brown is trying to get an NFL job as a 26-year-old rookie.
But it’s not as though he’s the only older-than-usual rookie in the NFL. His offensive line mate at BYU, Matt Reynolds, also is 26 and, of course, quarterback Brandon Weeden became a first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns at the age of 28.
“I’m a little older, but I really have faith in what I believe in, it was something important to me,” said Brown, who turned 26 in February. “I’m just ecstatic that the Miami Dolphins are giving me a shot, letting me come to rookie camp. I’ll learn as much as I can here and play as hard as I can and have a lot of fun.”
If there’s one thing, though, Brown doesn’t look like an older rookie — even with his beard. Check out his official BYU mug shot without the beard, and he looks like he could be in high school.
A newspaper story suggested that Brown’s wife, Sara, isn’t a big fan of the beard, but Terence says that’s not quite true.
“She just gives me a hard time,” Brown says with a big smile on his face. “She likes it actually. There’s an international beard competition every year and she gave me this book about it. She said, maybe you should grow a beard and go enter the competition someday. At BYU, we’re clean-shaven and everything and we loved it and respect that. But it’s been about six years since I’ve been able to grow anything on the face. I’m just kind of letting it go until I get tired of it right now.
“Made me look a little tougher maybe. I’m pretty baby-faced.”
Because of BYU’s policy banning facial hair, there’s nothing Brown could have done about a beard earlier.
There is something he could have done about getting his weight down, and it’s something he now says he probably should have taken care of sooner.
“But you can’t live in the past,” Brown quickly added. “You learn from your mistakes. I was trying all the time. I came off my mission I was 355. Each year I shed about 10 pounds and I just came down and got with a really good nutritionist that mapped everything out for me and helped me understand what I could and couldn’t eat and when to eat it. I was having like nine meals a day when I first got with him. I’m like, there’s no way I’m going to lose this weight. What am I doing? Then it just started coming off.
“But, yeah, I’d love to go back and play four years where I’m am at now, but can’t live in the past.”
No, Brown is all about the present, and the present is enjoying the opportunity of trying to earn a roster spot with the Miami Dolphins.
It’s a long shot for Brown — as it is for every undrafted rookie free agent — but that won’t come close to taking the smile from his face.
Asked what he needed to show the Dolphins to earn a job, Brown said: “Just my passion for the game of football and that I’m athletic and I can learn. That’s what I’m going to do. But I’m going to have fun while I’m doing it. I’ve always believed that football is fun and you need to have a good time.”