By LARRY VAUGHT
Not long after he made his first start in the Kentucky secondary, redshirt freshman cornerback Jamari Brown got beat on a deep ball. He got beat badly even though he was also called for holding on the play.
It was a tough start for Brown, a top 100 cornerback in the 2018 recruiting class. He had obvious talent as he also had scholarship offers from Auburn, South Carolina, Mississippi State and others based on his prep play in Florida.
Brown figures to get plenty of opportunities this year after UK lost its top five defensive backs off last year’s 10-3 team to graduation and then had its top returning defensive back go down with a season-ending injury in preseason drills.
Brown said a couple of his first-half mistakes in the win over Toledo were due to “nerves” he had in his first collegiate start.
“T(Head coach Mark Stoops) and (defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale) told me it was going to be like that and it was a normal thing. Every series (Clinkscale) said I’m getting better and better,” Brown said after the game. “You have to have short-term memory and just keep going. It’s a long game and you just have to keep fighting to the end.”
He did that and got better as the game went on. He said he has to learn lessons each day and game.
“You have to stay locked in because you never know when a play is going to come at you. You just always have to be ready to go, especially on third down,” Brown said.
“You have to take that serious and lock down. That could make or break you on defense. We have to do better on third down and communicate better on the defensive end.”