When you ask running back Dorian Brown what schools were recruiting him following his junior season, you get taken on a cross-country â€œwhoâ€™s-whoâ€ of the top college football programs.
â€œI was talking with Oregon, Miami, Tennessee. USC contacted me, Calâ€¦â€ Brown says as he tries to remember all those who showed interest in him.
Yet he is now a member of the CSU football team. A combination of loyalty, family and injury has brought Brown to Fort Collins.
Letâ€™s start with injury. Following a junior season in which he racked up 1,975 yards and 17 touchdowns, Brown caught the attention of schools around the country.
But at a scrimmage only six days before the start of his senior season at Thompson Valley High School in
Loveland, Brown tore his anterior cruciate ligament.
Prior to the injury Brown was rated the nationâ€™s No. 28 running back by Rivals.com and he was named first-team all-state in class 4A. Brown was also nominated to play in the All-American Bowl before his injury.
But after tearing his ACL, all lines of communication from big-time schools were severed. He never heard from any of the coaches again.
After checking with doctors to make sure Brownâ€™s rehab and recovery were on the right path, CSU never wavered in their recruitment.
â€œWeâ€™ve known Dorian for a long time, not just Dorian, his family. We were committed to him a long time ago,â€ coach Steve Fairchild said.
That brings in the family tie. Brownâ€™s uncle, Mike Mangelsen, was a kicker and punter for CSU in the late â€˜70s when he was a teammate of Fairchildâ€™s.
Brown said that he went to a lot of CSU games when he was younger, including all the CSU-CU games where he always â€œwore the green.â€
And while he grew up in nearby Loveland, Brown was born outside of the United States.
His mother, Kim, was living in the Virgin Islands when she met Brownâ€™s father, Will. The two then made the move to Puerto Rico, where Dorian was eventually born.
Two years later the couple was expecting a second child, and after deciding that the condition of the hospitals were too poor, the family came to Loveland where they have been ever since.
Now, Brown is looking to regain the form that brought recruiters from around the country to his door.
After graduating high school a semester early, Brown is already enrolled at CSU and is slowly rehabbing his knee so that he can take part in spring practice.
â€œIf I had come in at the fall I would have been lost. The plays weâ€™re learning are crazy. Itâ€™s a whole other level. But Iâ€™m glad Iâ€™m here now,â€ Brown said. â€œI just want to get out there and compete and see what I can do at the next level. Thatâ€™s what itâ€™s all about.â€
Football Beat Reporter Kevin Lytle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get to know Dorian Brown
- Biggest fear: Getting hurt again.
- Dream car: Lamborghini Murcielago. Metallic black.
- Favorite sports movie: The Program.
- Favorite song: Hustling by Wiz Khalifa.
- NCAA Basketball National Championship prediction: VCU. â€œIm gonna role with the little guys. Theyâ€™re pretty legit.â€