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Derek Medlin

Brown 'shocked, excited' about Hall of Fame nod

Posted May 9, 2013

Bill, coupon book, bill, magazine, College Football Hall of Fame football emblazoned with Ted Brown, bill.

Wait, WHAT?!

Two days after being selected to enter the College Football Hall of Fame with the 2013 class, former North Carolina State running back Ted Brown is still getting used to the news. In fact, he's still a bit shocked at how he found out.

"I thought I would get a call, but I got the news a little bit differently," Brown told Mark Thomas and Mike Maniscalco Thursday morning on 620 The Buzz. "I got a letter and a football, and it had 'Ted Brown, North Carolina State University, Class of 2013' on it. I almost fell over. I dropped the box and told my wife. It was very, very exciting."

At the risk of speaking for Brown, I'd imagine the excitement over being selected won't soon wear off. The memories of his career with the Wolfpack surely haven't.

Brown was dominant from 1975-78, averaging 5.9 yards per carry on his way to 4,602 yards, an Atlantic Coast Conference record that still stands. He scored in 31 consecutive games, left NC State as the conference's leader in touchdowns with 53 (49 rushing) and finished his career fourth on the NCAA all-time rushing list behind Tony Dorsett, Archie Griffin and Ed Marinaro. 

Even now, almost 30 years later, Brown's numbers stand up nationally. He currently sits 37th on the all-time rushing list. 

Brown was the first ever four-time All-ACC performer and in 1978, was named a consensus First-Team All-American. He set the ACC individual game rushing mark at the time in 1977 with 255 yards against Penn State and went over 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. He also holds the ACC mark for most 100-yard rushing games with 27.

Brown was a 1995 inductee into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and his No. 23 jersey was the first football jersey retired at NC State. He was a first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings where he played from 1979 to 1986.

Brown said Thursday that he's received dozens of phone calls from former teammates, people he said he shared the Hall of Fame honors with.

"I think about the closeness we shared as a team and how close we are today," he said. "We are all so close, and it's that comradery, that family. [The induction] is not only for me, it's for all of us who played in that era."

Remembering Dr. Lou's tactics

While Brown took time Thursday to credit his teammates for helping him have a career worthy of the Hall of Fame, he also spoke highly of former North Carolina State coach Lou Holtz, who was in his final year in Raleigh during Brown's freshman season.

Brown remembered Holtz's visit to his High Point home, where the coach told him he'd have a chance to compete in his freshman year despite Holtz's well-known disdain for playing freshman.

"Lou came to my house, sat down and said, 'Son, I don't like to play freshman, but I will give you the opportunity to play,'" Brown said. "I didn't think I would get that opportunity early in the year because I didn't play."

Things changed following a Sept. 27, 1975 game against Michigan State. The Wolfpack lost 37-15, and Holt's frustration with several upperclassmen led to lineup changes.

"The rest is history," Brown said Thursday with a laugh.

He would finish the 1975 season with 913 yards and 13 total touchdowns, setting the stage for three consecutive seasons of at least 1,000 yards.

"Lou would break you down, build you back up and then break you down," Brown said. "He'd have you so fired up you would think you could run through a brick wall. He was good at it, and it was his deal."

Comparing eras: Ted Brown in 2013

Amid discussion about his ACC records eventually being broken (he's all for it, assuming the yards he earned in bowl games get counted), Brown also mentioned the stark differences in the way players were treated in the 1970s as opposed to now.

"Now, they try to save running backs," Brown, who amassed 860 carries in his career (302 in 1978 alone) said. "They need to be more like Adrian Peterson, get that ball 25 to 30 times. The mid-30s is a good number. You can wear down the defense."

Jokingly, Brown said he would have liked to have a chance to wear down defenses in a read-option attack, an offense similar to what new NC State head coach Dave Doeren could employ with the Wolfpack in the fall.

"If I was playing in something like that, with the speed and quickness I have, I could have had a few more yards and taken a few less hits," he said.

Brown will be officially welcomed to the College Football Hall of Fame Dec. 10, 2013 at an awards dinner in New York City.

5 Comments

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  • Hokies94 May 10, 4:28 p.m.

    With his stats, he should have been in long ago. Someone didn't pay enough attention. Super player. Congratulations.

  • DurhamDevil May 9, 10:19 a.m.

    Congratulations to Mr. Brown - one of NC's all-time great athletes.

  • NCSU84 May 9, 9:47 a.m.

    A good interview by you guys on 620 The Buzz. Where does he live now?

  • 75Tarheel May 9, 9:31 a.m.

    Watched him while I was a student at UNC. Congratulations to Ted Brown. Well deserved. Seems a little overdue to me.

  • 4tarheels May 9, 7:56 a.m.

    Ted Brown was a great player.

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