CORAL GABLES, Fla. — It all sort of happened at once for Jarvis Brownlee. Through his sophomore year at Hallandale High School in Hallandale Beach, Fla., Brownlee was a safety oozing with potential. Benedict Hyppolite could see Brownlee had the hips he needed to excel in the secondary. The coach loved the defensive back’s physicality. Brownlee just needed to get a little bigger and a little more polished.
Then one day, Hyppolite looked at Brownlee and realized he was up around the 6-foot mark. By that point, it was only a matter of time before he put it all together.
“We just knew once that film started to get out there and people started to hit the road, and visit our school and had the opportunity to really see his upside, we knew good things were going to happen for him,” Hyppolite told DieHards on Sunday after a Mark Richt Football Camp in Coral Gables.
It all has come together for him over the last several months. Brownlee broke out in the fall as a starting cornerback for Miami Carol City Senior High School in Miami Gardens, Fla., and the offers started to pour in. They were from smaller schools at first — Toledo and Northern Illinois offered in December — then the Power 5 Conference programs arrived, with the likes of Boston College and Syracuse following suit.
On May 29, the first big one arrived. Miami offered Brownlee after spending the spring evaluating him. The Hurricanes immediately shot to the top of the 3-star cornerback’s list and lined up a visit for the local prospect. He came to campus Thursday for an unofficial visit with some family and committed before he left.
— Jarvis Brownlee1️⃣⚒ (@Touchmoney_11) June 7, 2018
Four days later, Brownlee couldn’t be happier with his decision. The 6-foot, 175-pound cornerback returned to campus Saturday, decked out Miami gear to spend time with the coaches and watch a Mark Richt Camp. On Sunday, he was back again for another Richt Camp. This time, he helped Miami Carol City Senior win the camp’s 7-on-7 tournament by locking down his side of the field and breaking up a pass on the goal line in crunch time.
“We always knew he was a physical specimen,” said Hyppolite, who coached Brownlee at Hallandale and now at Miami Carol City. “Through time we understood that he’d develop the cover skills.”
— David Wilson (@DBWilson2) June 10, 2018
Mike Rumph was one of the first at the college level to express the same sort of confidence in the defensive back. The cornerbacks coach watched Brownlee practice in person, and when the coaching staff regrouped after the recent evaluation period, Brownlee was the first prospect Rumph brought up. The Hurricanes quickly made him a priority, and Brownlee felt it when he visited.
As soon as he picked up the offer, Brownlee felt a commitment to Miami was inevitable. An offer from the Hurricanes was one of the big ones he was waiting on. He just wanted to get a chance to be around the program before he made anything official.
Brownlee didn’t know for sure if he’d commit on Thursday. Once he got on campus, though, his mind was made up.
“I felt like I fit in. They showed me a lot of love,” Brownlee told DieHards on Saturday in Coral Gables. “The love here is just unconditional.”
With months until he can sign and more offers certain to come in, Brownlee isn’t totally shutting down his recruitment. He did emphasize, however, that he’s “100 percent committed” to the hometown team. He said he potentially wants to take some more visits later this summer before he returns to Miami for Paradise Camp on July 28.
The Hurricanes’ early confidence will stick with Brownlee, though.
“That was a blessing,” Brownlee said. “For them to be the No. 1 school to come out here and show me love, my hometown, that’s just great.”