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On the Clock: RB Donald Brown


No player rushed for more yards last season than University of Connecticut running back Donald Brown.

The 5-foot-10, 210-pound junior racked up 2,083 yards and scored 18 touchdowns on his way to being named Big East Offensive Player of the Year.

Brown surpassed the 100-mark in 10 of his 12 games and saved his best performance for the last game of the season. In the International Bowl against Buffalo University, Brown tallied 29 carries for 261 yards in the Huskies 38-20 victory.

Brown is being considered as one of the top running backs to be selected in the upcoming NFL Draft and in all likelihood, could end up as a late first, early second-round pick.


On his pass blocking:"Going from high school to college, I wasn't supposed to do much in high school, but as the years went along in college, I started to get comfortable with it, and I'm pretty confident in my pass blocking."

On what teams perceive as his weakness:
"I don't know. Obviously, it's something to ask them when you sit down in meetings. We're going to start to get into more formal meetings as the days get long and see what they think you need to improve on to be a better running back and a better player."

On what he needs to improve on:
"I feel I can improve on everything, especially going to the NFL, you're playing with the elite. So you have to step up your game that much more. Pass protection is big. You need to protect the quarterback."

He cemented that status at the NFL Scouting Combine, running a 4.51, 40-yard dash, better than his junior counterparts Knowshon Moreno of Georgia and Chris "Beanie" Wells of Ohio State.

For Brown, the chance to strut his stuff in front of the NFL's talent evaluators at the combine was an important step in becoming a valuable contributor at the next level.

"It's been a memorable one," said Brown of his experience at the combine. "You only get this chance once. It's an opportunity that comes around once in a lifetime, so you have to make the most of it. You take it one day at a time, but it's been exciting."

Not only did Brown run the fifth-best 40-yard dash time of the running backs on hand, he also showcased his 41 and-a-half inch vertical jump, which was the best result by any running back.

"I feel that's one of my assets," replied Brown to a question pertaining to his versatility. "I'm not really playing it up. The film speaks for itself."

Out of all of the tools he used to be a successful running back, Brown said he had one clear-cut attribute which he claimed was his strongest.

"My instincts – I'd say I'm a very instinctual runner, and that's my strength right now."

Prior to his breakout junior season, Brown only totaled 1,717 yards in first two seasons platooning in the Huskies backfield. But with those experiences under his belt, Brown felt the experience served him well.

"When you look at the NFL nowadays, and every major college football team, they have two or three running backs. That's important, especially when you have two running backs who complement each other well. You have to work that much harder to get that spot."

There's no doubt, once he hears his name on draft day, Brown will use his complete skill-set to become a focal point of the rushing attack for whichever team selects him.

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