Thursday, February 12, 2009

Q&A: Donald Brown, UConn - Walter Camp On Location

Connecticut All-American Donald Brown sat down with All-Access Football Radio
at the Yale University Commons in New Haven prior to the Walter Camp 42nd Annual National Awards Diner on January 17, 2009.

What does it mean to be a Walter Camp All-American?

It’s an honor to be here, with all the great athletes that are here, and also to be able to represent the University of Connecticut. So I’m honored to be here.

Did you expect to be here and to declare for the draft before the year started?

Honestly, I didn’t expect to be here right now, but I prepared hard back in January and prepared myself for any situation and this is the situation I’m in and I’m just grateful to be here.

Originally you stated that you wanted to come back and help lead UConn to a Big East title. That must mean it wasn’t an easy decision to leave...

It wasn’t an easy decision especially leaving a program that’s been having so much success. I wanted to get the distractions away from my team, we needed to focus on the bowl so I wanted to make sure there wasn’t anymore talk of me leaving early for the NFL so I had to nip that in the bud a little bit. It was a tough decision but my family and Coach (Randy) Edsall were very supportive for me so that made it a lot easier.

So are you saying you were pulling the media’s leg by saying you were coming back next year?

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to protect your teammates.

What’s going on in New Jersey? There are a lot of talented running backs coming out of there.

Jersey produces great talent every year. We get looked past every once in awhile with the bigger states like Texas and Florida, but Jersey football is pretty good.

Did you happen to play against any of the talented running backs coming out of Jersey?

Actually Knowshon Moreno and I were teammates in Pop Warner together, and he lives close by so I’ve known Knowshon for awhile now.

Who got more carries between you two?

I think it was pretty equal, we played running back and wing back.

That must have been a heck of a team.

Yeah it was a pretty good team.

Did you guys talk about college ball or playing in the NFL back then in Pop Warner?

No we were just kids out there having fun playing Pop Warner.

What are your plans moving forward as far as preparation for the combine and draft?

Right now I’m in California training at Velocity in Irvine. It’s been great, there’s a lot of great guys out there, the trainers are awesome and my agency is also out there in Athletes First and they are a bunch of great guys so I’m happy where everything is at right now.

What do you bring to the table as far as your game is concerned?

I just want to be an all-around back. Similar to Brian Westbrook, able to catch, run, and block. I just want to be an all-around good back.

What is a part of your game that you want to improve?

I need to improve on everything to be honest with you, because when you get to the NFL it’s the little things that make a big difference. I just need to improve on everything and I think I'll be alright.

What are your other interests besides football?

I like kicking my feet up at the end of the day. You go out there and practice hard and train hard and you just want to go back to your room and kick your feet up and just hang out.

Any other interests or hobbies?

Not really, just hanging out with friends and family and focusing on football.

Do you think that the fact that you are so focused on the game is the reason why you are where you’re at today?

I think it has, and I think it’s the people I surround myself with. I surround myself with great people who are focused as well so that helps me.

Who is one of the toughest individual opponents you faced this year? Maybe the biggest hit you took this year?

Brown: To be honest with you I didn’t really take that many big hits this season. There is a lot of great talent in the Big East this year. (Tyrone) McKenzie down in South Florida is a great linebacker, (Scott) McKillop who I’m actually training with out at Velocity right now. Every week it’s great to play with the Big East.

Who was your favorite running back growing up?

I was a big Tiki Barber fan.

Are you going to follow him into commentating after your career is over as well?

People have been saying that I might have a career in something like commentating or news broadcasting or something like that. We’ll see and take it one day at a time, but obviously the NFL is my focus right now.

What team did you root for growing up?

The Giants, I’m a big Giants fan.

Disappointed that they didn’t advance in the playoffs?

It’s a little disappointing, but it just wasn’t their day.

Would that be an ideal spot for you to get drafted to?

I’m willing to go anywhere I don’t care. I just want a spot on the roster, that’s all I’m asking for.