Where are they now?: Donald Brown
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 22:10
Can you name the last running back in college football to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season? It wasn’t Trent Richardson. Mark Ingram? Wrong again. Tim Tebow? You can’t be serious. The answer is former UConn Husky Donald Brown, who rushed for 2,083 yards in 2008.
Brown began his freshmen year as the second string running back behind starter Terry Caulley. However, an injury to Caulley pressed Brown into duty and he didn’t disappoint. In his first two games, Brown ran for over 400 yards and five touchdowns. From there, the starting job was his. He finished his freshman year on the All-Big East second team with 896 yards and nine scores.
There were big expectations for Brown’s second season at Storrs, but he fell short due to the emergence of fellow sophomore running back Andre Dixon, as well as injuries. He finished the season with just 821 yards and eight touchdowns. His yards per carry average also dropped to 4.8, down from 5.6 his freshmen season.
Brown entered his junior year as a starter thanks to an ankle injury suffered by Dixon during the preseason. Brown didn’t let his chance slip by as he began the season with eight straight games of at least 100 yards rushing. Brown later passed Caulley as UConn’s all-time leading rusher with 1,822 yards, the most in Division I.
However, he was not done quite yet. The Huskies went to the postseason, playing in the International Bowl against Buffalo. Brown ran wild in the game, totaling 261 rushing yards and one touchdown in UConn’s 38-20 win. Brown finished the season with 2,083 yards and became the 14th player in FBS history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season, joining Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen and LaDainian Tomlinson.
After his stellar junior season, Brown elected to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft. The Indianapolis Colts selected Brown with the No. 27 pick of the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Brown was the first Husky to ever be selected in the first round of the draft.
Brown played sparingly his rookie season behind former Colt Joseph Addai. He finished with just 281 yards and three touchdowns. However, Brown has improved every year he has been in the league as his attempts, yards, and yards per carry have increased each year. Last season he ran for 645 yards with five touchdowns. This season Brown is on pace for 956 yards.