UConn’s Donald Brown Reverses Field, Headed to NFL

Young/AP

Young/AP

Following a record-setting performance in the International Bowl, UConn running back Donald Brown announced that he will enter the NFL Draft, a reversal of his previous announcement that he would return to UConn.  From a business perspective, Brown’s decision is rock solid. 

As discussed in Connecticut Sports Law a few weeks ago (Should Donald Brown Stay at UConn?), the time is right for Brown to go pro.  He has accomplished almost everything that he can at UConn: he rushed for a staggering 2,083 yards and 18 touchdowns this season; he is at or near the top of most rushing categories in UConn’s record book; and Brown was UConn’s first All-American since UConn began competing at the NCAA’s highest level.  Despite some well-reasoned disappointment that Brown has not received the national attention that he deserves, there was nothing else for Brown to accomplish at the collegiate level.

Brown’s dominance this season caused UConn’s offense to rely upon him heavily, sometimes exclusively, perhaps to an unreasonable degree.  The International  Bowl served to emphasize that point.  With the complete and utter lack of a passing game (UConn QB Tyler Lorenzen’s threw only 6 passes all day), Brown took UConn’s entire offense on his shoulders running for 261 yards and a touchdown.  If he returned, he’d be signing up for another year of carrying a heavy load for UConn, which will be breaking in both a new quarterback and offensive coordinator.  As impressive as Brown  has been, another 2,000-yard rushing year would likely concern NFL scouts as much as it would impress them, notwithstanding that Brown would be risking injury.

The National Football Post has listed Brown as number 82 on its list of the top 100 collegiate prospects.  Of course that number is subject to change once Brown works out for NFL scouts and gets timed in the 40-yard dash.

For Donald Brown, the time is right to enter the NFL.  Here’s hoping that Brown continues his success and shows fans across the country the explosive running ability and nose for the end zone that UConn fans have come to know.

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