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Who is Bryce Brown?

Camps are just underway and this is typically when news starts to heat up. Every once in a while, there’s a blip we just can’t ignore. Bryce Brown has been on our radar for quite a while and his story is so interesting we feel we have to  something out there to answer a very important question.

Who is Bryce Brown?

There are many adjectives you could use to describe Brown’s path to the NFL, but frankly, none of them would be very flattering. His story is one filled with feelings of entitlement, bouts of immaturity and untapped potential.

Let’s go back to the beginning.

As a high school football player in Kansas, Brown won the Hall Trophy as the best high school player in the country and was the #1 player on the Rivals.com recruiting list – the first running back to achieve that designation since Adrian Peterson back in 2004. He was also ranked ahead of Trent Richardson and Matt Barkley in the recruiting class, which is obviously no small achievement.

This is where it gets interesting.

His recruitment was a total circus as he was guided by a pseudo-agent who sold his recruitment tapes, putting Brown’s collegiate eligibility in question. At one point, Brown attempted to enter the NFL straight out of high school and when denied, threatened to go straight to the CFL instead. The NCAA eventually cleared Brown to play in college and he gave an oral commitment to Randy Shannon and the University of Miami.

On signing day, Brown threw another curveball and opted against actually signing with the Hurricanes and instead named five other finalists for his services and announcing his own personal signing day a week later, thus doing nothing to dispel the idea his talent was making him delusional. Shockingly, Miami wasn’t even on the list of finalists. After making more visits, he finally opted to sign with Tennessee, citing the fact they’d prepare him best for the next level, something that was seemingly never off his mind.

Brown’s Freshman year was a bit of a disappointment as he played behind Montario Hardesty and gained just 460 yards with three touchdowns. After the season, he again changed his mind on where he wanted to play football and opted to transfer to Kansas State to join his brother, Arthur. Tennessee opted to not let him out of his scholarship, thus making him sit out the entire 2010 season.

After barely playing in 2011, Brown chose against returning to school for his remaining two years and opted to enter the NFL Draft to pursue what he’s always felt was rightfully his – an NFL career. He finished his collegiate career with just 476 rushing yards.

Brown is a kid who has been incredibly misguided and has obviously bought into his own hype at a ridiculous level. Amazingly, he has been part of at least three different NCAA investigations regarding possible rules violations, including the famous Miami investigation involving booster Nevin Shapiro.

While the handling of Brown reminds you clearly of the sad tale of Marcus Dupree, you have to hope this has a better ending. Brown is getting his chance now after being drafted in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.

At this point, he’s making the most of it.

Reports on Brown’s camp performance thus far have been glowing. He’s a big kid at 6’0 and 223 pounds, but has shown elusive ability and great speed, especially for a player with his size. There are many things he has to learn (albeit, he needs to accept that fact), including pass protection and offensive schemes. However, his talent has never been in question. He certainly doesn’t lack confidence.

Brown is currently in a battle with Chris Polk and Dion Lewis for the backup job to LeSean McCoy. At this point, it looks like he has a leg up on Polk and is nipping at the heels of Lewis. Running backs coach Ted Williams seems to be heaping praise on him every day. While he has no chance of ever unseating McCoy, Brown is an intriguing player to monitor during training camp and in the preseason as a long-term dynasty stash. He may flame out or he may finally play up to his potential – nobody knows. He’s a major project both on and off the field, but one with a massive amount of intrigue at the moment.

Ken Kelly
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Joseph Gugliuzza
10 years ago

I’ve held on to this kid in my Dynasty league since April. I know he won’t start this year but, I’m hoping he passes Dion Lewis on the depth chart and becomes McCoy’s backup. I consider him my best RB talent among the four rookie backs that I have. (Currently, I have Michael Smith, Daryl Richardson, Vick Ballard, as well as Bryce Brown.)

sixshooter
10 years ago

Interesting article. I really didn’t know much about this kid and now I know why!

Word from camp is that he Lewis has the #2 spot and Brown is battling with Polk for the #3 role.

Here is what the local media (Eagle’s website) are saying regarding Brown:

Bryce Brown battling Chris Polk
Sun, 29 Jul 2012

Philadelphia Eagles RB Bryce Brown has shown soft hands as a receiver since joining the team, and he showed off solid blocking in pass-protection drills Sunday, July 29. He appears to have a leg up in the battle for the No. 3 running back job over rookie RB Chris Polk.

Keith Fortier
10 years ago

He was Mr Irrelevant (23.12) in the DLF Premium Invitational draft (my pick). I knew he had an interesting past but didnt think it was THIS interesting. I have liked what i’ve seen and read, but the Diva mentality is best left for WR’s. I like my RB’s humble, lunch pail, blue collar types.

Though, i’m a gambler and this is a nice lottery ticket to be holding onto. The odds are low, but the payouts could be astronomical. Would absolutely require a major injury to McCoy as he’s signed through 2017.

It’ll be fun to watch!

Ray Voeller
10 years ago

If he signs a 1 or 2 yr deal and shows promise when given opportunities good chance he’ll get shot to be a starter. Can’t see it being in Philly unless injury.

Eric MacKenzie
10 years ago

In fairness, he bailed on Tennessee after Lane Kiffin (The coach who recruited him) left after one year. I don’t think it’s fair to knock the kid for that. I grabbed him off waivers and plan to hold on to him for a while.

Adam Franssen
Reply to  Eric MacKenzie
10 years ago

Good point. Also explains the reasoning that Tenn would have prepared him for the pros since the Kiffins had just left the NFL.

Albert
10 years ago

Bryce has some serious skills. After watching YouTube clips of him, I came away impressed. His skills fit what Philly does as an offense like a glove. He has quick feet and catches the ball well. He looks like a more powerful Joseph Addai.

Ken Dogson
10 years ago

I took him at 303 in a 12 team, 27 man roster Dynasty League. I’ll sit on him for awhile.

Joseph Gugliuzza
10 years ago

I definetly feel good about his potential. Though Bryce starting in Philly obviously would require an injury to McCoy. I’m not an Eagles fan but, I sure don’t wish injury on McCoy or any player for that matter. That being said, I think that there’s a better chance that Brown eventually gets traded to a team that will start him. And, given his size, talent, and young age I absolutely believe that he’ll be worth keeping in Dynasty leagues. It all depends on Bryce Brown himself. His situation and talent level does remind me of the great Marcus Dupree. The greatest running back there never was.

Chris R.
10 years ago

His story is the only reason he’s getting hype. Because he was the #1 recruit, and who he was ranked over, and how much of a circus show his whole story was causes him to generate attention. People should keep in mind there are a TON of highly ranked RB’s and WR’s in high school by rivals that go on to do nothing. This guy has done absolutely nothing besides be ranked #1 by Rivals. He was not a standout in College, didn’t have a good year, didn’t have a standout game, all hype.

He’s also went to a spot where he’s behind arguably the best RB in the game who isn’t even close to 30 years old, and there is no threat to form a RBBC.

I’d much rather gamble on a guy like Michael Smith in TB because he at least has a shot to play. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to target Brown late if your a McCoy owner but other then that I don’t see much excitement.

Admin
Reply to  Chris R.
10 years ago

I’d disagree that the story is where the hype is coming from…I think the hype is because of his incredible measurables & ceiling. I personally don’t know if we’ll ever see him play a meaningful down in the NFL, but talent-wise he’s a great gamble as a flyer at the end of your bench if it’s deep enough.

He’s obviously a knucklehead and has issues that have kept him from being successful thus far, but his raw talent is impressive. Impressive enough to get drafted after a horrible college experience. I personally think the landing spot is a good one. The RB2 position there is a wide open one & I don’t think anyone has expectations that he’d ever start over McCoy anyway. But on any team in the NFL, an RB2 can turn into an RB1 in the blink of an eye with an injury.

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