Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It really is life in the fast lane with
Bryant University running back Jordan Brown.
He spent the first 11 years of his life in Indianapolis. Now 21, he has
attended the Indianapolis 500 every year since he was 6.
Vroom, vroom ...
Brown, who has been clocked in 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash, saves the
football field for his favorite track.
As a junior last year, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Brown had the most carries
(329) and rushing yards (1,815), the highest rushing average (165 yards per
the second-highest all-purpose yard average (227.3) and the third-highest
touchdown total (22), in the Football Championship Subdivision.
However, the Northeast Conference Offensive Player of the Year and third-team
All-America was not recognized among the official FCS statistical leaders
because Bryant was in its final season as a provisional school that was
reclassifying from Division II to the FCS.
This year, the Bulldogs are eligible for both the NEC championship and FCS
playoffs. Brown will lead their cause, trying to build on his ninth-place
finish in the Walter Payton Award balloting.
In Five-a-Side - In the FCS Huddle's monthly feature of "five questions, five
answers" with an influential person in the FCS - Brown discusses the season
ahead, as well as the possibility of a Payton Award winner coming from a
smaller FCS conference.
Let's kick off:
TSN: It would seem hard for you to improve on your junior season individually.
How possible is this to you?
JB: It's very possible. I've been thinking about it ever since the last game
of the season was over. We lost to Central (Connecticut State), 42-21. It was
in front of our home crowd, so it was kind of embarrassing, and I didn't put
out my best individual performance as well. So it was kind of an embarrassing
performance on both sides, team-wise and individual-wise.
I was very, very happy with my accomplishments, but I'm the kind of person who
(thinks) there's always room for improvement. I've been wanting to go over
2,000 yards ever since I came into college. And I thought last year was going
to be the year.
This year, our team is going to be excellent. I think that with the amount of
firepower that we have and the ability to improve, and the fact that we can go
to the playoffs this year, is going to enhance our team's motivation. My
offensive line, they're going to work. I'm so happy that I have guys like them
around me to protect me and protect our team and open those holes. I'm just
going to run right through 'em and see what happens after that.
TSN: What parts of your game have you concentrated on this offseason?
JB: I've concentrated on, obviously, my blocking. As a running back, you have
to be able to pick up blitzes and be able to not only pick them up, but stop
them. I've always worked on that, that's always been a part of my game that
I've always wanted to emphasize. Let's be honest, I want to make it to the NFL
and (blocking) is one thing that you can separate yourself with, if you can
I've also worked on catching the ball. I can catch very well out of the
backfield from the start, but I've been working on that a lot. I've worked on
my conditioning because last year I did not expect to take those many carries.
So I'm just preparing my body just in case it does happen again - I'm ready to
I've also practiced on just knowing the offense a little bit more - the ins
and outs, what defenses will do - trying to get a head start on Marist, since
that's our first game, as best as possible. I'm trying to prepare myself off
the field as much as on.
TSN: Last year, you were not eligible for the FCS rushing title considering
Bryant was finishing its transitional stage. How did that affect you?
JB: It really didn't affect me. I paid attention to it. I mean, my team and my
coaches and the people that played against us, they knew the deal. So they
knew that I was the leading rusher in the nation. I know when the Walter
getting voted for last year, I don't think a lot (voters) knew that since my
name wasn't up there (in the national leaders) - they thought (Indiana
Shakir Bell was the leader. Taking no credit from him, he's a great running
back, a great, great player. I respect him, I checked up on him, I've seen him
play on some highlights. I respect his talent; he's a very, very good player.
So is everybody on that list.
It really didn't affect me, it just pushed me to go harder. I told myself I'm
the biggest-kept secret around the league since nobody knew me. So (this)
I'll come on the scene with a vengeance, come on the scene with something to
TSN: Walter Payton Award winners usually come from the larger FCS conferences.
What will have to happen for you to sway those voters' opinions?
JB: Our team has to win, we've got to win. We cannot go 5-6, 6-5, 7-4, we have
to win, we have to make a conference run, we have to clinch a berth into the
(FCS) playoffs - it's imperative. Me individually-wise, I have to perform
game. I can't have a weak game, a losing game, no fumbles, I can't have
anything that goes against my resume. I have to perform every game and I have
to help my team win 24/7.
TSN: What tells you about this year's team that Bryant will be in the NEC
JB: It's a feeling around here that we can go to the playoffs, that's the main
thing I'm trying to emphasize. My class is the first class that's going to
a chance to be eligible. It's never been done before, so we want to make
history for one. Two, my whole class and my whole team have been working all
winter. And that's our No. 1 goal. We've been working as a team.
I want Bryant to be on the map because Bryant is coming up in the sports world
as well as in the academic world.
The Sports Network