Speed. Electricity. Playmaking. Those are some traits that the UConn offense is looking for in preparation for 2019, particularly after losing four of their top five receivers from a season ago. With the top two wide receivers and top two tight ends having departed and more than 67-percent of receptions gone, opportunity presents itself for some younger players currently on the roster and newcomers who are on their way.
For Ardell Brown, a WR for Division II Seton Hill (Greensburg, PA), which is just outside of Pittsburgh, that opportunity was too much to pass up. So Brown took an official visit to Storrs this past weekend and the rest is history. He committed to the Huskies on Sunday and with him comes speed, having run a 4.38 40-time in college, playmaking, registering 1,267-yards receiving (5th in DII) and electricity, pulling in 10-touchdowns last season.
Brown, a Rochester, NY native, who was an All-State player in high school, called the visit ‘amazing’ and raved about the facilities. Being around the team?
“I felt an unusual comfort while around the coaches and players,” he said. “I’ve always loved UConn. In high school I came to football camp here and fell in love with the campus. After my weekend, I’m 100-percent committed. Football is a tool that God has used to take me to places and give me opportunities I couldn’t have ever imagined.”
That newest place is Storrs, with a program that could use his leadership, experience and work ethic. Brown sat out all of 2017 with an injury, overcame that adversity, came back and didn’t miss a beat, pulling in a TD reception on the very first drive of 2018, truly a welcome back moment.
Standing at just 5’11”, Brown isn’t the biggest of receivers, but what he lacks in height, he more than makes up for in speed and smarts.
“I’d say I am an extremely smart football player,” he said. “I know I’m not the biggest, but I use my ability to read defenses and my speed to put myself in the best advantage possible.”
He’s taken that mentality and only became Seton Hill’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, in just three seasons. His head coach at Seton Hill, Isaac Collins, who has coached in the FCS, DII, DIII and even with the Giants and Eagles in the NFL, had some high praise.
“I might be biased because I get to coach him, but he’s hands down the best receiver this program’s ever had,” Collins told the Tribune-Review in October. “If you watch what he does, if you watch what teams do to try to take him away from our game plan, they try, but they can’t. He works on beating defenses. His hand-eye coordination is the best I’ve seen in 20-years of coaching. His hands, he catches everything. He’s a leader and I have no doubt it all will translate to professional football.”
Brown has one year of eligibility remaining and it certainly looks and sounds like the Huskies are getting a player that will be able to contribute immediately.
Want to know more about Ardell Brown? Check out the following extended interview courtesy of the Westmoreland Sports Network:
MATT SCHONVISKY / SITE CREATOR