PROVO — Since playing his final college football game in BYU's dramatic, come-from-behind victory over Tulsa in the Armed Forces Bowl, center Terence Brown has lost a lot of weight — 25 pounds to be exact.
Meanwhile, he's added a beard that would make Grizzly Adams proud.
It's all part of Brown's new look as he eagerly awaits next week's National Football League draft.
Though he put up impressive numbers at Pro Day in late March, he said he hasn't attracted much attention from NFL teams so far.
"I'm under the radar and feel that if someone gives me a chance, they'll be pleasantly surprised with what I can do for them," Brown said.
According to CBSSports.com, Brown ranks as the No. 551 prospect overall, and he is rated No. 18 among centers.
Most experts project that Brown won't be selected in the seven-round draft. But even if he isn't picked, he is expected to sign a contract with some team as an undrafted free agent.
In terms of his Pro Day results, the sleeker, slimmed-down Brown compared favorably to the linemen that participated in the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
Brown's performance in several categories would have put him in the top echelon among linemen at the combine, including the 40-yard dash (5.03 seconds), broad jump (9 feet, 2 inches), shuttle run (4.39 seconds) and 3-cone drill (7.33 seconds). He also recorded 25 reps on the bench press and had a 29-inch vertical leap.
"I knew scouts and teams were going to have some questions about my athleticism," Brown said. "But I put those question marks to bed with the way I performed at the Pro Day. We'll see what happens from here. As far as Pro Day goes, I felt like I knocked it out of the park."
In preparation for the draft, Brown has spent the past few months working out at ASAP Training in Orem with personal trainer Dave Stroshine and nutritionist Dan Wilcox.
Listed at 330 pounds last season with the Cougars, the 6-foot-4 Brown has shed pounds, and now he's in the best shape of his life.
"In a 12-week period, I lost 10 percent body fat and a total of 25 pounds," he said. "I actually lost 38 pounds of fat. I added 12 lean body mass. It definitely helped going into Pro Day. I've made some good changes that I'm excited about, football-wise. But I'm excited as far as life goes, being healthier. I feel tons better. That's been awesome. I'm staying in shape, trying to get quicker, faster and stronger."
One thing that could help Brown's NFL prospects is his versatility. He started 13 games at right guard at BYU in 2009, then started every game at center in 2010 and 2011.
"If a team gives me a chance, they'll definitely be surprised because I am so versatile," he said. "My agent is making sure that teams are aware I can do multiple things. If I get in a chance to get into an NFL training camp, I think it will help me a lot because I can play every position."
As for the beard — which he couldn't wear during his years at BYU due to the school's dress and grooming standards — it's not something his wife, Sara, is crazy about. But he likes it.
"The beard's going strong, against my wife's better judgment," Brown said. "She would probably like me to trim it down. I wouldn't say my wife loves it. But she's a very good wife and she supports me. As long as I'm not a bishop, I'll always have a beard. It's kind of my thing right now. Who knows how long it will last? I enjoy it. I'm kind of a fan of it. I'm making up for lost time right now."
When he's not working out, Brown has been working as a substitute teacher at Lehi Junior High School.
"Some of the kids ask if I played football," he said. "Some of them recognize the name. It's fun. They're good kids. They don't give me too much trouble. It helps to be a big guy like myself. They don't really want to challenge someone like that."
When draft day begins next Thursday, Brown will likely be substituting at the junior high.
"I'm not going to be a first-day or second-day guy," he said. "But I'll be ready in case a phone call comes. I'll work out both days, then go golfing Saturday to get my mind off everything."
Brown received his degree from BYU in December in physical education teaching. If pro football doesn't work out, he would like to teach at a middle school or a high school and coach football. Another option is going into college coaching.
For now, though, he's focused on playing football for a while longer.
"From here on out, I'm just hoping for an opportunity. I did my best at the Pro Day," he said. "If I could go back four years and learn what I have the last couple of months, I think my situation would be different. But you can't live in the past. My problem at BYU was that I was overweight. I got a good nutritionist and got that taken care of. It's my responsibility, but I never worked with a nutritionist and I didn't know how to eat right."
Added Brown, "BYU did a great job of getting me ready (for the NFL), especially the mental part of the game."
Brown has talked to former Cougar teammates with NFL experience, like Vic So'oto, who signed last year as an undrafted free agent with the Green Bay Packers, to learn more about the draft/free agent experience.
"The process is different for everyone," he said. "I've talked to guys who have had no contact with teams before the draft and they ended up getting picked up as a free agent. And I've talked to guys that talked to a bunch of different teams and none of those teams picked them up and they were picked up by someone else. I'm keeping the hope alive. Hopefully my Pro Day numbers will catch someone's eyes."
Y. draft hopefuls
Terence Brown OL
JJ Di Luigi RB
Corby Eason DB
Hebron Fangupo DL
Jameson Frazier LB
McKay Jacobson WR
Jordan Pendleton LB
Matt Putnam DL
Matt Reynolds OL
Travis Uale DB