Posts Tagged ‘Donald Brown’

The Photo UConn Fans Thought They Would Never See

// November 30th, 2009 // 3 Comments » // Uconn, Uncategorized

donny-brown-dan-orlovsky-screen-shot

As a proud fan of UConn football, this is a photo that 5 maybe even 4 years ago no one thought would be possible.  And here we are.  I’m proud of this little piece of stalking I did here, causing the entire viewing audience in my cousin’s living room to put their life on hold while whipped out my Blackberry and snapped this gem. It’s a little surreal, and I couldn’t be prouder of these two guys.  I’m sure both Donny and Dan appreciate my new stalker status.

If There Is One Thing I Know, It’s Diseases

// September 25th, 2009 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Well folks, just when you thought things couldn’t get worse in Gainesville, another blow to Tim Tebow’s immortality. Six Florida Gator players were held out of practice on suspicion of “swine flu.”
While no one has reported Tebow was among the six, I’m betting that Urban Meyer has him in quarantine. It’s the only logical, safe move. As goes Tebow, so go the Gators.

But this brings up the more important, and even less discussed, issue of team hygiene.

Staph infections abound in collegiate locker rooms. Yes, a scar on the back of my neck, so large it looks like I could plug into the Matrix, is in fact only one of many bodily injuries that is a throwback to my playing days. Only this one didn’t come at the hand of some overzealous offensive linemen. No, this one was caused by the draining of the golf-ball sized MRSA infection I had festering there.

Pleasant, I know.

Coaches want to build team unity, closeness, the whole “we’re a family thing.” Sure, it has its rewards, like, say, winning. But that closeness also means a lot of high fives, bodily contact and the occasional shared bodily fluid. Water bottles, drinking cups, weight rooms. Everything is shared, and because you really aren’t afraid of what your teammates might be carrying, you’ll gladly bat cleanup at the water fountain, ignorant of the fact that five of your buddies probably sneezed all over it only moments ago.

Coaches treat sick players with differing degrees of sympathy. For example, I once found myself with a stomach bug, puking on the practice field. I was afforded a few plays off and then told to get my fat butt back in there — I was dispensable.

On the other end of the spectrum, I remember when future first-round draft pick, and Indianapolis Colt running back Donald Brown (the nation’s leading rusher at the time) came down with a mild case of the sniffles. He was rushed to the proverbial ER for a battery of tests. Coach gave him the day off and sent him back to his apartment to rest up. (I know Donny will kill me for publishing that, but hey, I’m still a little bitter.)


Read The Rest HERE

UConn And The NFL Draft

// May 1st, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Uncategorized

Do you know how weird it is to go to bed on one day, wake up the next and your friends call you telling you they are millionaires. Alright, well that wasn’t the ENTIRE conversation–but it did come up once or twice. The 2009 NFL Draft marks the most significant moment in the UConn football program since the change from IAA to Division I Big East play.
Since Alfred Fincher and Dan Orlovsky in 2004 we (UConn) have been searching for an identity. Are we the little program that could or do we belong in the debate with USC, Michigan (pre Dick-Rod), Notre Dame, or Oklahoma. The slow trickle of NFL talent out of Storrs and into the league in the last 5 years has made the answer (to those outside of Connecticut) a resounding “No.”
In a blog during this past season (Your Questions, Answered!), I wrote “Fight Club” style about what it meant to play for UConn:
UConn Football does not care what others think of UConn Football. UConn Football will keep doing UConn Football until due credit is received. Even then UConn Football is not satisfied. UConn Football does not sleep, UConn Football waits until next Saturday, when UConn football can again prove the haters wrong. Only UConn Football knows how important and talented UConn Football is. Only those inside UConn Football Know how hard UConn Football works. Only UConn Football’s opinions matter to UConn Football. (I am Jack’s Smirking revenge)
What it meant to “silence” the haters and stay focused on our task in the face of little to no media respect (thanks Lou and Mark!) as well as the slew of other insults we endured.

2009 has changed that 4 selections out of the first 100:

Downtown Donny Brown:
The new face of UConn football in the NFL. I tried to get a hold of Don for this blog (I mean, what coud be more important than this?)–but hes a busy guy. I did get a chance to talk to his Dad a while back and he said that the neighborhood kids were coming to their house asking for old shoes and shirts and having a few, “is Donny home, can Donny come out and play?” moments. Let me tell you one thing. After for years with Don, what you see is what you get. Believe the hype, he is as humble as he is talented. The Colts have picked an outstanding young man.

Cody Brown:
Despite my predictions to Cody that he was going to end up at Buffalo and no one was going to want to go to his games but me, he ended up with the Cardinals. The Arizona Cardinals have picked one of the best athletes in the nation, who possess not only the physical gifts but the kind of personality that goes about his work quietly and efficiently. Cody didn’t really talk to anyone for his first 2 years at UConn, focused on doing his job and that was it. His high school teacher, Ms. Halliday confirms that Cody was always “a quiet storm.” CB called me when I was in Spain (I told him he’d have to pay for the $3.00 a minute charges) and he was ecstatic about his new adventure.
Darius Butler:
I think New England has a new favorite son. Darius is an “athlete’s athlete.” 43 inch vertical? Why not. Big Bill over at Foxborough better know that he has one of the fastest and most ferocious players on his squad, not to mention a man of integrity and discipline.

William Beatty:
It is a well documented fact that I hate all offensive linemen, but its hard to not like Will. The kind of kid that will hold, scratch, claw, and generally annoy you during the whistles, but gently trots back to the huddle for the next play. A disarming niceness and “matter of fact” type humor that can only make you laugh. Like the time I walked in my house (a few miles off campus) to find Will sprawled out on my couch, watching “A Bug’s Life” –which he just ordered On Demand. “Uh, Will–what are you doing here?”
“Watching A Bug’s Life…wanna sit down.” That is Will in a nutshell.

The Fans.
I cannot say enough about the fans of Connecticut Football. My time as a player at UConn (how weird is it to say that) was made enjoyable by the small things the fans did. Warming up in our end zone as we yelled, “gotta be perfect today, gotta be great.” and the group of 10 or 15 who were there to cheer on the D-Line. Or the Husky Walk where Daniel Narvesen would be there, the last hand I’d shake before going into the locker room. Maybe even the people that stopped at our dinner table at Outback (a post game tradition) and congratulated us on doing a “great job” or even a “we’ll get ‘em next week.”
This exposure and success with the players and program is a testament to you, so here is a heart felt “thank you” from me. You made my choice (and my teammate’s choice) in UConn a wise one.

New York Times: Donny Brown For President!

// April 22nd, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Uncategorized

Insert your “what can Brown do for you” pun here. Donny Brown–a fantastic individual, as the New York Times reports:

RED BANK, N.J. — In the weeks and days leading to the N.F.L. draft, a typical prospect may spend his free time thumbing through catalogues featuring fancy sports cars, gaudy jewelry and high-priced houses.

Donald Brown, who was the leading rusher in the country last season with the University of Connecticut, has spent much of his time in the last few weeks going through hundreds of essays written by high school football players seeking to attend a mentoring conference that Brown has organized.

A lot of people say, you’re not even in the N.F.L. yet, why are you doing this?” Brown said during an interview last week at Red Bank Catholic, where he went to high school. “It’s because I have a platform and the resources, so I might as well use them. I wish I had this opportunity when I was growing up. I would have been the kid sitting in the front row, wide-eyed, listening and taking notes.”

Read the rest HERE

Donny Brown: Combine Standout

// February 23rd, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Uncategorized

Donny Brown is going to make some NFL franchise very happy in the years to come (insert What Can Brown Do For You?-comment here). His senior season he absolutely annihilated opposing defenses. Even when teams were putting eight or nine bodies in the box to stop the run he would still rip off 200 yard performances. He worked hard, rarely got the credit he deserved (not sure the guys at ESPN even knew his name), and he kept on plugging. He led the nation in rushing and put on an absolute show at this years combine.
What do I mean by absolute show? How about being the top performer in 6 of 7 categories?
The highest vertical jump (an astounding 41.5 inches). You know what I’m seeing below him? A lot of guys that got the “big press” throughout the season. Donny has done one thing here, left me saying “Knowsh0n Moreno Who?”

40-yard dash Vertical Jump Broad Jump
Name Time Name Height Name Distance
Peerman, Cedric 4.45 Brown, Donald 41.5″ Wells, Beanie 10′8″
Johnson, Ian 4.46 Peerman, Cedric 40″ Brown, Donald 10′5″
Sheets, Kory 4.47 Goodson, Mike 39.5″ Scott, Bernard 10′5″
Brown, Andre 4.49 Southerland, Brannan 38″ Kimble, Anthony 10′2″
Brown, Donald 4.51 Brown, Andre 37″ Coffee, Glen 10′1″
Williams, Javarris 4.52 Greene, Shonn 37″ Greene, Shonn 10′1″
Goodson, Mike 4.54 Sheets, Kory 37″ Sheets, Kory 10′1″
Scott, Bernard 4.56 Coffee, Glen 36″ Jennings, Rashad 10′0″
Coffee, Glen 4.58 Kimble, Anthony 36″ Southerland, Brannan 10′0″
Lucky, Marlon 4.59 Ore, Branden 36″ Goodson, Mike 9′10″
Wells, Beanie 4.59 Scott, Bernard 36″ -
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3 Cone Drill 20-yard Shuttle 60-yard Shuttle
Name Time Name Time Name Time
Scott, Bernard 6.82 Scott, Bernard 4.08 Brown, Donald 11.30
Moreno, Knowshon 6.84 Brown, Donald 4.10 Jennings, Rashad 11.46
Ogbonnaya, Chris 6.85 Ringer, Javon 4.11 Bell, Kahlil 11.55
Jennings, Rashad 6.86 Johnson, Ian 4.18 Moreno, Knowshon 11.63
Ringer, Javon 6.87 Jennings, Rashad 4.20 Johnson, Ian 11.63
Bell, Kahlil 6.87 Bell, Kahlil 4.20 Sheets, Kory 11.70
Goodson, Mike 6.89 Goodson, Mike 4.22 -
Brown, Donald 6.93 Moreno, Knowshon 4.27
Johnson, Ian 6.93 Peerman, Cedric 4.29
Sutton, Tyrell 6.94 Ogbonnaya, Chris 4.

FWG: THE NEW “U”

// January 26th, 2009 // 6 Comments » // Uncategorized

UCONN is the new “Running Back U.” There. I said it. And I’m sure every subsequent visit to Storrs (running backs coach)Terry Richardson will remind me. Terry Caulley, a great talent found his niche in the CFL. This year Donny Brown emerged as one of college football’s great running backs. Certainly the greatest UCONN has ever seen. With a promising NFL career ahead of him, it is hard not to love the guy. But what makes UCONN ground zero for great running backs is their depth at the position and the ability to cultivate talent.
Graduating Donny Brown leaves a gap in the offense. But freshman running back, (North Dartmouth native) Jordan Todman provided some interesting moments for UCONN ripping off yards from opposing defenses in unlikely situations. And please don’t forget Andre Dixon. An All-Big East Performer in 2007, the combination of Todman and Dixon will provide the leg power to drive the spread offense under new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead.
Brown was a highly touted but under recruited running back out of New Jersey. Andre Dixon and Jordan Todman both flew under the radar of major programs right in their own back yards (Rutgers and BC respectively). And yet they both look to provide a 1-2 punch that will likely be UCONN’S offensive threat.
What about full back Anthony Sherman? He quietly became UCONN’s most outstanding receiving threat, providing an extra dimension out of the backfield, and a consistent blocker as well as ball carrier in short-yardage situations.
With PITT losing Shady McCoy, I would say the top running back threat to be watched is a lock between WVU and UCONN. Is my opinion biased? Absolutely. After all, I am a graduate of Running Back U.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS:

The Arizona Cardinals will be playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Florida. In an equally intriqing match up: We see if Rogain Foam wins the battle against Dying Hair Folicles this month on Rob Lunn’s scalp.

The story line of the Super Bowl is really whether the most hated owner in the NFL, Bill Bidwill (Cardinals) can prevail over one of the most beloved men in the NFL, Steelers owner, Art Rooney. Win or lose Rooney, Bidwill, and Kurt Warner will all be catching the early bird special at Denny’s on February 2nd.

According to Rick Reilly, Larry Fitzgerald is “the anti-TO” because he doesn’t complain, or celebrate and “…dresses and speaks impeccably.” No. What makes him the anti-T.O. is that he’s the marquee receiver in the Super Bowl, not at home on his couch throwing darts at an 8×10 of Tony Romo.

Kurt Warner and Wife.
Spokespersons for the “One-size-fits-all-gender-neutral-haircut.”


FWG: UConn Running The “Hurry-Up?”

// January 23rd, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Uncategorized

The Rob Ambrose era is officially over at UConn. Joe Moorhead has been hired to replace Ambrose, who took the head coaching position at Towson University. After a season in which the offense was anemic at best, UConn is now looking to Moorhead to inject some life and creativity into the UConn scoring game.
More interesting than Moorhead’s coaching pedigree (most recently serving in the same capacity at Akron University) is his plans for UConn’s offense on the field. The word from sources close to the progam is that UConn will be running a No-Huddle -Hurry-up Offense. Think of it as the two minute drill, for an entire game. For those that are unfamiliar with the system, current examples of this in college football landscape include WVU and Oklahoma.
While there is no word on whether or not UConn will be running a spread offense as well, there are definitely some questions yet to be answered. Most importantly: Can they replace Donny Brown?
Hopefully Moorhead has a plan to implement a more balanced offensive scheme. The end of the 2008 season consisted of handing the ball off to Donny Brown 30-40 times a game, with absolutely no passing threat. With less talent at the running back position this year it is going to be interesting to see if the “No-Huddle” gimmick will work.
There are already grumblings from an offensive line that is bigger than they are quick, which would suggest the players themselves are more comfortable in a slow paced methodical offensive scheme. “No huddle short yardage and inside run? I hope [Moorhead] is joking.” was one player’s response to the rumor of running the no huddle.
Whatever the case, Moorhead has his work cut out for him. Turnovers and play calling hurt the Huskies down the stretch, and without the legs of Donny Brown to keep the offense rolling it could be a long season for UConn.

The Big East Mailbag (ESPN.COM)

// January 13th, 2009 // 7 Comments » // Uncategorized

I’ll skip the crap about WVU and Pitt. Who cares? This is from the blogger of the Big East, Brian Bennet and his mail bag.

Chris from Wallingford, Conn., writes: Biggest hole for UConn to fill next year? Lorenzen, Donald Brown, Will Beatty, the two defensive ends, Darius Butler, Rob Lunn’s blog? The knee-jerk answer is Donald Brown, but personally, I think it’s the DE’s. Cody Brown was a monster and Julius Williams had a great year as well. Lindsay Witten will really have to step it up next year. UConn’s defensive scheme is to get a four-man pass rush (they rarely blitz). So, whoever fills those shoes next year HAS to get pressure on the QB. Thoughts?

Let me say this. There will be more good running backs to come out of UConn, but there will never be a Donny Brown. Todman will be a sparky third down back and provides that break-the-big-play threat. Dixon is still as talented as he ever was, that threat from the backfield is still very real. Cody and Julius, for my money, you don’t get any better pressure off the edge.
Who will replace them? Well, if it’s any indication of things to come UConn is still not back in session, students (and football players) not due back ’til January 20th, but Lindsey Witten has been on campus lifting and training since January 4th (that’s the day after the bowl game). Expect big things from him next year. As far as Rob Lunn’s Blog well, I think ,that might be the biggest crushing blow to this program (kidding…sort of). I’ll be keeping the blog up with inside information on Connecticut Football and other sports stories. Look for some of my blogs at http://www.chriscooley47.blogspot.com/ and NESN.COM.

Oh and at WWW.THEFATWHITEGUY.COM (coming soon)

The rest of the Big East Mail Bag can be found here.