FSU CB Brownlee discusses final play, vows to come through in future
Four days after what had to be the most difficult moment of his athletic career, Florida State cornerback Jarvis Brownlee waited patiently while head coach Mike Norvell wrapped up his post-practice press conference late Wednesday morning.
Then Brownlee took his turn in front of the cameras and microphones.
Expressing disappointment about his final play and vowing to come through in the future, Brownlee explained what went wrong on the last-second, 59-yard touchdown pass that gave FCS opponent Jacksonville State a 20-17 victory over FSU in Doak Campbell Stadium.
The first mistake, Brownlee said, was that he didn't get deeper in coverage before the ball was thrown.
"And instead of going for the ball, I could have just made the tackle and ended it," he said.
Brownlee, a Miami native who started several games last season and is thought to be FSU's top cornerback, kneeled in disbelief after giving up the game-winning touchdown on Saturday night.
He said it took some time to bounce back emotionally, but he added that he's determined to come through in those situations in the future.
"I've been through adversity," Brownlee said. "It ain't nothing new. Like I said to the coaches, the fans, my mom ... big-time players make big-time plays. In that moment, I was in position. I didn't do that.
"I've got to be here for my group and my teammates and my defense. So just throw that out the window and got to come back harder -- 10 times harder -- this week and put in the work. I'm prepared. I'm ready for the moment."
He isn't the only one who needs to bounce back this week heading into Saturday's game at Wake Forest. Both of the Seminoles' losses this season have come on the final play -- including an overtime defeat to No. 9 Notre Dame -- but a number of things have gone wrong along the way to put them in those positions.
"Everybody is just looking for the response," Brownlee said. "We know we took two tough losses that we feel like we shouldn't have lost. So we've just got to get the little things right. That's basically what the games have been ending on -- the little things."
That starts in practice, of course. But Brownlee said it extends beyond the field of play as well.
On Tuesday, Brownlee and fellow defensive backs Akeem Dent and Travis Jay were made to wear orange jerseys in practice -- a punishment that generally denotes a mistake off the field, such as being late for meeting or not living up to a team expectation.
"When we get things off the field correct," Brownlee said, "then on-the-field things will come (snaps fingers) just like that."
This week has probably been tougher for Brownlee than anyone else on the team -- for reasons beyond his final play. The redshirt freshman also found out the morning of the Jacksonville State game that his godfather, with whom he was very close, had passed away.
"That was really tough," Brownlee said. "He had a big impact on me. When I was down or things weren't going right or I needed advice, I could call him. And he's not just going to tell me what I want to hear, but what I need to hear."
The Miami native said his FSU family has helped fill that void this week.
"I appreciate all my teammates," Brownlee said. "They've been checking on me, sending texts, pulling up to the house, making sure I'm good ... making sure my head's straight, I'm locked in, I'm focused. I appreciate my coaches and my teammates for holding me accountable and supporting me."