Donald Brown rushed for 3,800 yards and 33 touchdowns on 698 carries in three seasons at UConn.He rushed for 2,083 yards and 18 touchdowns and led the nation in rushing at 160 yards a game (367 rushes) in 2008.
As a result, Brown, who just completed his rookie season with the AFC champion Indianapolis Colts, entered the NFL draft a year early and became the school's first-ever first-round draft pick, going to the Colts with the 27th pick overall.
In 2007, he shared the load with Andre Dixon but wanted more and worked hard to be the No. 1 back in 2008. He ultimately won the job and kept it. The hard work and determination continued through the season. In 2008, Brown had three 200-yard games, 11 100-yard games and four multi-touchdown games. He had no choice but to take his talents to the next level. After rushing for 261 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown in the International Bowl, Donald Brown announced he was going pro.
NFL highlights: How about having the opportunity to play with quarterback Peyton Manning to start your career? That evolved into a Super Bowl run and, ultimately, a trip to the big game."Some guys don't get to a Super Bowl in their careers and I've already been to one," Brown said. "I guess the bar is set pretty high now."
The Colts employ a passing offense with a veteran back in Joseph Addai. That probably limited Brown's playing time. He had 281 yards on 78 carries and three touchdowns. He caught 11 passes for 169 yards.
Life After UConn
On May 9 -- Mother's Day -- Brown earned his degree in kinesiology. He walked with the 2009 graduating class after promising his folks, Donald and Lisa along with UConn coach Randy Edsall, that leaving school early wouldn't distract him from getting his degree.
When Brown made the promise his parents didn't expect him to get his degree in one year. After the Super Bowl loss to the Saints, Brown did an internship with the Colts and combined that with two online courses to finish. Coming from a home of educators, the degree was just as important as the NFL from the minute Brown stepped on the UConn campus.
After football, Brown said he would like to be strength and conditioning teacher. He is a workout freak and truly does treat his body like a temple.
"Knowledge is power and now that I have my degree they can't take it away from me," Brown said. "I'm realistic. Football is just not going to be there forever. I have my diploma to fall back on, the people I've met here the networking is phenomenal. That's going to carry on with me long after I'm done playing football. A lot of times, when people get to the league they put the diploma on the back-burner."
Brown, as usual, was different.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times