ugg sale office Mentorship from a former Sooner helping OU
NEW ORLEANS The first time former Oklahoma offensive lineman Jammal Brown met current Sooners left tackle Orlando Brown, an NFL player was talking to a chubby kid.
He was a big, ol round doughboy, Jammal said of his first encounter with Orlando, who was maybe 10 years old at the time. Looked like he was pushing 350 then.
The two met at a football camp through Orlando Brown Sr., better known as Zeus, who played 12 years in the NFL. The elder Brown briefly shared an agent with Jammal, who played at OU from 2000 04 and spent nine seasons in the NFL.
Little did either of them know that was the beginning of a relationship that would shape Orlandos life and football career.
Zeus died in 2011 of diabetic ketoacidosis. Orlando has talked openly about his fathers death and the confusion he went through in the aftermath.
Orlando has viewed Jammal as a replacement father figure ever since, but the relationship became much closer when Orlando committed to OU.
Hes like my dad, Orlando said. Hes my role model. Hes my father figure. I talk to him just about every day.
When Orlando signed with OU, Jammal met with him and asked what he wanted to do with his time in Norman.
He showed me that he was a real good listener and willing to work, Jammal said. He was lazy, but he was a real good listener and had the ambition of wanting to be a good player. So if you can just show me that, I can work with you.
The two formed a partnership. Jammal spends his summers in Norman, where the two work out together.
Jammal related to Orlando on an emotional level and thought he could help Orlando become an NFL player. But in many ways, football was the easy part.
Orlando grew up going to an all boys school in Baltimore. After his fathers death, he went to a public high school in Atlanta, but was still behind on the ways of the world.
It was almost like we had to start over with all the little things, Jammal said.
That meant plenty of lessons on how to talk to girls. And a lot of guidance on how to dress.
It was understanding, hey, youre a big guy, but you dont have to buy a 4X shirt and have it hanging off you,
Jammal said. You can be a big guy and look neat and classy.
On the field, Jammal helped shape Orlando through tough love. When Orlando thought he might come in and start as a freshman, Jammal set him straight. Brown ended up redshirting, but he was able to cut weight and adjust to college with less pressure.
Even through two years or playing, Orlando said its incredibly rare for Jammal to tell him something as simple as good job.
We have a very unique relationship, Jammal said. Its a real aggressive relationship. Every day we talk, and its not like Im real positive with him. Im real negative with him on every aspect. I feel like thats kind of the way we were coached, and now coaches arent allowed to really coach like that.
Jammals teachings include plenty of stories about his own mistakes, plus anecdotes from his time in the NFL. He has taught Orlando the importance of technique and seriousness. team meetings at 7:58.
Youre on time, but you have to understand how the front office and everybody is viewing that, Jammal said. Its the same things at OU.
Jammal said Orlando was stubborn at first but has started to catch on. And OU lineman Dru Samia sid he has always noticed Orlandos intense dedication.
Its a big mentality thing for Orlando, Samia said. A lot of his deal is playing football. Hes more focused on the mentality and what it takes to be a football player.
Orlando has always been quick to credit his NFL pedigree, but at the same time, he wants to be a different player than his father. Zeus was known as a mauler and a scrapper who succeeded through his will power.
Orlando is now a 6 foot 8, 340 pound behemoth, but hes also turning into a technician.
I take a lot of pride in my craft, Orlando said.
As a result, Orlando has turned into the best offensive lineman in the Big 12 and an AP second team All American. He also took Jammals guidance and has already announced his return for another season, saying he knows he has more work to do if he wants to become a first round pick.
Jammal saw that pay off for him when he stayed for a senior season in 2004 and ended up getting drafted in the first round.
What he says goes, Orlando said.
Jammal also said he has watched Orlando grow into a young man, even developing his own sense of style and showing off his UGG boots at press conferences that, too,
a teaching from Jammal.