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Clemson Football

With speed and maturity beyond his age, Brown has delivered for Clemson

October 20, 2023

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“What can Brown do for you?” That’s what shipping service giant UPS (United Parcel Service) asks customers. For Clemson (4-2, 2-2), posing the same question, the answer is a lot.

Freshman receiver Tyler Brown has delivered for the Tigers and is one of the best freshmen receivers in college football. 

On Sept. 30 at Syracuse, Brown was spectacular, leading the team with nine receptions and 153 receiving yards, both career highs, in the crucial 31-14 victory over the previously undefeated Orangemen. Following his eye-opening performance, Brown was named ACC Receiver of the Week and a two-time Rookie of the Week.

Brown's rise to prominence became critical when fellow receiver Antonio Williams was sidelined with an ankle injury on Sept. 16 during a dominant 48-14 win over Florida Atlantic. Stepping into the spotlight, Brown was up for the challenge, hauling in two touchdown receptions against the Owls. His contributions didn't stop there; in his first career start on Sept. 23 against No. 4 Florida State, Brown tallied five receptions for 84 yards despite a painful fall on his right shoulder, proving he's more than capable of delivering against any opponent under adverse circumstances. 

"It's just next man up, and you have to be ready at all times," said Brown about stepping in for Williams. 

In six games, the Greenville High (S.C.) product is tied for the team lead in receptions (24) with junior Beaux Collins, in receiving touchdowns (2) with Collins and Williams, and is second to Collins in yards (339 to 338). His reception and yard totals are third and fourth, respectively, among true freshmen.

Brown's journey to stardom was not without its twists and turns. Initially committed to Minnesota, he changed course when his dream school Clemson came calling with an offer on November 12, 2022. Recalling the moment he received the offer, Brown, who committed on Thanksgiving Day, stated, "When Clemson gave me the offer, it was pretty much a no-brainer." 

But what if destiny had taken a different path? Brown's recruitment to Clemson hinged on the decommitment of four-star receiver Ray-Ray Joseph, who withdrew his commitment to the Tigers on June 14, 2022. Brown, a three-star recruit, backed off his commitment to Minnesota on June 20, leading to the offer from Clemson. It's safe to say that the stars aligned perfectly for both Brown and Clemson.

"Just seeing all that talent and height, 6'6 NBA guards, out there. It was time to be realistic for 5'11-old Tyler Brown"

Brown's transition from basketball to football was another pivotal moment in his journey. A 5-foot-11 guard at basketball powerhouse Legacy Early College in Greenville, South Carolina, he found himself overshadowed by taller guards, 6'5 Bryce McGowens (Charlotte Hornets) and 6'2 Jacobi Wright (South Carolina). Recognizing the limitations in his height, Brown decided to redirect his athleticism, speed, and leaping ability to the gridiron, a decision that would ultimately shape his destiny.

"Just seeing all that talent and height, 6'6 NBA guards, out there. It was time to be realistic for 5'11-old Tyler Brown," he reflected. "I liked the game, but it just didn't feel the same as football. So I'm glad I'm here right now, and I feel I made the right decision."

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney attributes Brown's rapid growth to his maturity, but it wasn't always smooth sailing for the young receiver. Brown candidly revealed a turning point when he had a frank conversation with Greenville head football coach Greg Porter and offensive coordinator Amos Lamb after missing an optional 6 a.m. workout. Their message was simple but powerful: "What did you come here for?" Brown's response was clear: "I want to get better." Their message was equally clear: "But you missed the 6 a.m. So, you're wasting time. So, you need to lock in if that's really what you want." From that moment forward, Brown's work ethic transformed, setting the stage for his remarkable journey.

However, Brown acknowledges that his work ethic was not exclusively shaped on the football field. He gives credit to his mom, who worked tirelessly in two jobs and prepared meals that led to him gaining nearly 30 pounds."I would say seeing that work ethic shaped my work ethic," Brown noted. "So, like seeing her work Monday through Monday, there's no reason for me to not be productive. I had to go do something, and with the dreams I have, I don't want her to work another day in her life. So, keeping that in the back of my mind is a pretty good motivator."

"What can Brown do for you?" became an iconic slogan in the world of shipping and beyond. But UPS retired it in 2010, replacing it with "We (heart) Logistics."

A glance at the new slogan might lead one to believe it's all about logistics, but it's more than that. UPS's new campaign reflects its multifaceted nature and adaptability in providing services to various industries. It's about being quick, efficient, and adaptable - qualities that Brown brings to the Clemson offense.

Brown, who also averages 14.8 yards on punt returns and has a rush for 23 yards, is off to a great start to his collegiate career and fulfilling his dreams of playing in the NFL and giving back to his mom. 

On Saturday night, when Clemson faces Miami on the road, Williams is expected to make his return so Brown could see fewer snaps and Joseph will be on the Miami sideline. Joseph committed to the Hurricanes on June 30. He has six catches for 36 yards and two punt returns for 33 yards. 

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With speed and maturity beyond his age, Brown has delivered for Clemson

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