Little Man Could Make Big Impact

Matt Brown

As far back as his days in midget football, Matt Brown has been told he was too small for the grueling sport. Good thing for him he never listened.

As far back as his days in midget football, Matt Brown has been told he was too small for the grueling sport. Good thing for him he never listened.

The 5-foot-5 freshman walk-on impressed in spring practice with the Temple football team, and he figures to play a key role for the Owls this season as a slot receiver and kick returner.

"My whole life I always got things about my height, so I've gotten used to it," Brown shrugged before a recent practice session. "I just use it as motivation. My midget team would go to Florida every year and we would win this little national championship. I used to hear all the time I was too small, but I was the quickest one on the field and I always made up for it.

"To me, it's a good thing. It doesn't even faze me any more when people mention my size because I feel like I'm 6-9."

As a senior running back at the Peddie School in New Jersey, Brown gained 1,450 yards in just nine games. When interest from colleges proved to be lukewarm he enrolled at Milford Academy, where he played a prep year as a running back and wide receiver.

While he didn't receive the scholarship he hoped for, Brown decided to accept Temple's offer to walk on.

"I knew coming out of high school I wasn't going to have a scholarship, even though I knew I was capable of having a scholarship and I deserved one," Brown said. "I've been overlooked my whole career because of my size, and I really wasn't on anybody's radar.

"I went to [Milford Academy] to get a scholarship. I didn't get one, so I walked on. I always said I was going Division I, I didn't care what it was. The scholarship is something I'd like to have, but the goal was really the next level. [The scholarship] is something I just think will come along."

Brown feels he is perfectly suited as a slot receiver and is excited about the opportunity to work as the return man on kickoffs.

"I figure I could be the quick, little slot receiver where they can get me the ball in open space," Brown said. "They have bigger guys just as quick as me to run between the tackles. I really enjoy returning kickoffs. It just comes naturally to me, I guess."

While he may have been overlooked much of his career, Brown did catch the eye of Coach Al Golden in the spring.

"We have no height requirement to be a good football player," the fourth-year head coach said. "The thing about Matt, as well as (fellow receivers Vaughn) Carraway, and Delano (Green), they love practicing football and they love talking about football."

Brown said he proved nothing to himself with his performance this spring.

"I knew myself I belonged," he said assuredly. "Other people are starting to see that now."

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