Oct. 27, 2003
By Kurt Wisenbaugh, FSU Sports Information
It is not what you say or how loud you say it. It is what you do and how hard you do it. That is the motto that Rufus Brown lives by. Brown may not do a whole lot of talking, because he let’s his actions speak for themselves. The same can be true on the football field. You won’t see him trash talking. You will see him as a hardworking, dedicated, smart and determined player.
Brown, an experienced fifth year veteran out of El Paso, Texas, who has played in 50 games including the Orange Bowl against Oklahoma in his freshman year, has many valuable qualities.
“Most people don’t know how good of an athlete Rufus actually is,” teammate Stanford Samuels said. “Rufus is like the super-athlete. I mean, he’s extremely quick, fast, always around the ball. He’s always in position. He’s just a great athlete.”
Besides being a hard worker on the football field and an experienced veteran on the team, Brown is one of the smartest players as well. Earning academic awards as the top freshman player in the classroom in 1999, Brown has continued to excel in the classroom and graduated in April 2002 with a degree in Management Information Systems. He is currently working on a second degree as well as participating in an internship with Administrative User Services on campus. Brown credits his graduation as his greatest accomplishment in life so far.
“I was able to graduate with a degree and have my mother and my father see me graduate,” he said with pride.
Brown is quick to give credit to his parents who raised him well and he has learned not to take anything for granted.
“I’m just blessed with an ability,” Brown said, “and I just go out and give it my best.”
Brown knows and understands the importance for student-athletes to graduate, but doesn’t believe it is the same for everyone.
“It’s important because football doesn’t last forever”, he said, “but at the same time, everyone comes from different backgrounds. I mean, there are some situations where that’s what some people need at the time. I think it’s important because football isn’t promised for everybody. It’s really a personal thing. Sometimes players have done all they can, and accomplished what they wanted. Everyone’s situation is different.”
Brown graduated in four years with a 3.0 grade point average and is currently working on his second degree in Information Studies. Asked what he plans on doing after his football days at Florida State, he said with a laugh, “I just want to relax and take life easy for a while, maybe retire at 30.”
Brown could probably use a breather. A diligent hard worker, Brown has never been one to complain. He just does the job and does it well.
Defensive Coordinator Mickey Andrews credits Rufus for his continuous hard work and perseverance.
“Rufus has come along way,” Andrews said. “I see him trying to get better out there. He’s still trying to go out there and get better everyday. That’s what it’s all about.”
Even though he already got his degree, Brown wanted to play this season and help Florida State get back to the national championship. He was a member of the 1999 national championship team and that was his most memorable moment as a Seminole football player.
“I wasn’t out on the field, but I was on scout team.” Brown said. “Just being with that whole team, looking at the way they were fighting, just going undefeated.”
Being a very modest and humble person, Brown credits past players for his success on and off the field. He credits players such as Clevan Thomas, Mario Edwards, Tay Cody and others as players who took him under their wings and helped him grow and mature into a better player.
“From each one of those players, I took a different style and put it into my game,” he said.
He admits he still is learning, even from players on the team right now.
“I just feed off all the corners,” Brown said. “Leroy [Smith]’s got a lot of enthusiasm. Stanford’s got the swagger. Each one of them, I more or less feed off of them.”
Brown feels that while he can still learn a lot from the other corners, he can also be a good influence to some of the younger players on the team on and off the field.
This past summer, Brown not only trained for football, he also worked a more blue-collar job, as a construction worker. Joining a couple other guys including teammate Leon Washington, Brown helped out in the construction of the new Moore Center and part of Doak Campbell Stadium. It was a good experience for Brown and it taught him a lot.
“It wasn’t glamorous but it pays the bills,” Brown said. “I was very thankful to them for giving me a job. It was a good experience, but it really made me appreciate football a lot. I mean they’re working real hard for their families. I understand and respect what they do, but I was happy to get back to football.”
That is just the type of player and person that Rufus Brown is. He is a humble person and won’t boast about his accomplishments, but will keep persevering and working as hard as he can, helping the Seminoles and himself reach new heights.