The Feel-Good Story of This Week In The NFL Has To Be Former Wolfpack RB Andre Brown

andre_brownOne of the most talented running backs in recent NC State history has got to be Andre Brown.

Brown had it all in college — power, speed, good football IQ and the mentality to succeed.  While he was here, he backed up that talent too, rushing for 2,539 yards and 22 TDs on 523 carries during his college career.  Those numbers may not seem gawdy, but keep in mind that Brown was  sharing duties with Toney Baker, an equally talented and powerful back, and together they made quite a formidable combo rushing the football and that he was getting those numbers behind a makeshift offensive line that was best described as mediocre.

After his senior year, it would seem almost a given that Brown would take his skills up to the next level, where he’d become a superstar — but that’s where the injury bug bit Andre, and it has bitten him hard and on multiple occasions.  Drafted by the New York Giants in 2009, he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during training camp, which forced him to miss the entire season.  After coming back from that injury, Brown became a journeyman: he was cut at the end of the Giants training camp the next season, went to the Broncos, where he was cut after only three carries in one appearance, was picked up and waived quickly by the Colts, Panthers and Redskins, all in the 2010-2011 seasons.

Brown was picked up — and cut again — by the Giants after that, and finally in September of last season was given his first real chance in a regular season game: an injury to Giants starter Ahmad Bradshaw forced Brown into service, and against Tampa Bay, Andre Brown the NFL player showed the same skills that Wolfpack fans saw on a regular basis here in Raleigh: he ran for 71 yards on 14 carries and scored the game winner for the Giants.  He later backed that performance up in a nationally televised game in Charlotte against the Panthers, where he ran for 113 yards on 20 carries, and scored two touchdowns.

Things were looking up for Andre and it looked like he had finally found his place in the regular rotation behind Eli Manning.  That was not to be, as the injury bug hit him once again, this time with a broken fibula against the Packers in November.  Season over, Brown rehabbed once again, but once again had a broken leg in the final preseason game for the Giants, and once again, Andre Brown had to take a trip on Comeback Road.

Today, Andre Brown made that comeback: he ran the ball 28 times for 106 yards in what was supposed to be limited duty for the G-Men, and carried his team to a 24-20 victory over the Raiders on a raw autumn afternoon in the Meadowlands.

To my mind, this latest comeback by Brown shows the same grit and determination that carried him through college and through an NFL career that has seen too many trips to physical rehab specialists and doctors.  It’s a great story for those who are paying attention to him, and I hope that he stays healthy for quite a long time and finally gets the chance to show NFL fans the same great ability and results that we enjoyed while he was wearing the red and white.

Alums NCS Football

10 Responses to The Feel-Good Story of This Week In The NFL Has To Be Former Wolfpack RB Andre Brown

  1. packalum44 11/10/2013 at 8:25 PM #

    I met him up here in NYC. Very sweet kid. He’s articulate – not dumb like many UNC players.

  2. tjfoose1 11/10/2013 at 8:25 PM #

    Bravo, young man.

    And thanks for the 20.9 fantasy points!

  3. BJD95 11/10/2013 at 8:31 PM #

    I saw his TD run live. The spontaneous expression of pure joy he let loose almost brought a tear to my jaded eye.

    Thank you, RedZone Channel!!

  4. Wulfpack 11/10/2013 at 8:40 PM #

    Congrats to Andre. Giants look like they could make a run for the division.

  5. vtpackfan 11/10/2013 at 10:00 PM #

    Andre is a guy that has yet to be arm tackled.

  6. FunPack 11/10/2013 at 11:47 PM #

    Give ’em hell, AB.

  7. Hawkeye Whitney 11/11/2013 at 11:03 AM #

    Does anyone know what Toney Baker ended up doing? I know that he was cut as an undrafted free agent by the Broncos several years ago. I had always hoped that we would get to see him play at the next level. He was another great player beset by injuries.

  8. WolfInVolCountry 11/11/2013 at 1:02 PM #

    All-in-all, many Pack alumni are showing off their skills… Russell is playing great and would be in MVP conversation if not for Peyton. Rivers is playing much better than last year. Cotchery is becoming the “go to” for the Steelers. Glennon is solid. Nate has been very servicable for Denver… although he may be out for a little while with a shoulder injury. Mario has 11 sacks for 2nd in the NFL. Not bad showings at all.

  9. cWOhLFrPAiCKs 11/11/2013 at 7:29 PM #

    My favorite NC State Andre Brown memory was the ridiculous stiff arm he used on a Florida State safety en route to a TD. The force he applied could be felt miles away. So glad he’s persevered through all the injuries and team transitions. He deserves it as much as any Wolfpack player.

  10. Alpha Wolf 11/11/2013 at 10:21 PM #

    Does anyone know what Toney Baker ended up doing?

    Toney is an IT Recruiter with TekSystems. We work with their contractors at my company and Toney is doing quite well with them.

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