Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent and Jerry Brown Jr. were close friends while at the University of Illinois. They were roommates in Dallas when Brown was signed to the Cowboys' practice squad, a move that Brent helped to influence.
Speaking Sunday on NFL Network's "NFL GameDay Morning," Michael Irvin detailed a conversation he had with Cowboys defensive line coach Leon Lett.
"Josh was actually the reason Jerry Brown was there," Irvin said. "(Brent) had gone to all the coaches and lobbied to get him there. And talked about them and their dream of playing together in the NFL."
Brent currently is in jail after his Saturday arrest on an intoxicated manslaughter charge for driving a car that flipped over, killing Brown. The circumstances surrounding Brown's death just make the loss all the more heartbreaking.
"I am devastated and filled with grief," Brent said in a statement released by his agent Saturday night. "Filled with grief for the loss of my close friend and teammate, Jerry Brown. I am also grief-stricken for his family, friends and all who were blessed enough to have known him. I will live with this horrific and tragic loss every day for the rest of my life. My prayers are with his family, our teammates and his friends at this time."
Brown's family released a statement Sunday, obtained by Fox Sports insider and NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer:
"The family of Jerry Brown Jr. wish to express our sincere appreciation for all of your prayers, phone calls, flowers, visits and other acts of kindness shown during the death of our son. We would also like to send our prayers out to Josh Brent and his family as well. With kindness and love, The Family of Jerry Brown Jr."Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.