Tim Brown | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Tim Brown

Photo courtesy Wikicommons/US Navy

Photo courtesy Wikicommons/US Navy

Mississippi is getting its second visit from a member of the 2002 AFC champion Oakland Raiders.

Former NFL wide receiver Jerry Rice visited the state Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 to be a part of Celebrations of Greatness, a tribute event to his time in the NFL. On Nov. 1, former NFL wide receiver Tim Brown will be the keynote speaker at the Mississippi College Athletics Dinner. Brown was Rice's teammate with the 2002 Raiders, who lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Brown didn't start playing football until his sophomore year at Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Texas. He played in the high-school band before switching over to football and quickly became a standout on the field.

The Dallas native's skills on the field enticed recruiters to watch him play, even though his team's record was 4-25-1 during his three years. While in high school, Brown also displayed world-class speed in track and excelled in the 400-meters and long jump.

Brown shined in more than athletics, proving to be just as talented in the classroom. The wide receiver earned scholarship offers from the University of Oklahoma, Southern Methodist University, the University of Nebraska and the University of Iowa.

His work in the classroom and on the football field led to an offer from the University of Notre Dame. Brown chose to play for the Fighting Irish over all the other schools vying for his talents.

The outstanding wide-out made an impact in his first season in South Bend, Ind., in 1984. He set the record for most catches by a freshman, with 28 receptions for 340 yards and a touchdown.

Brown began to show his skills as a kick returner while he was a sophomore, when he averaged 25 yards per return and scored one touchdown on a return. He also caught 25 passes for 397 yards and three touchdowns.

Notre Dame's 1986 season is when Brown burst onto the national scene, setting a school record with 1,937 all-purpose yards. He caught 45 balls for 910 yards with five touchdowns. On the ground, he rushed for 254 yards, adding two more touchdowns, and returned two kicks for touchdowns.

Against the University of Southern California, Brown helped rally the Irish to a victory with his kick-return ability and receiving skills. More than any other, that game put Brown in the national spotlight.

As a junior, he earned earn his first selection as an All-American. During his senior season, he caught 39 passes for 846 yards with three touchdowns, and he had 34 rushes for 144 yards and a touchdown.

Once again, though, it was Brown's ability as a kick returner that kept him in the spotlight. Against Michigan State University, the wide receiver returned back-to-back punts for touchdowns.

Brown was named All-American a second time and won the Walter Camp Award in 1987. That year, he also became the seventh Notre Dame player to win the Heisman Trophy, joining Angelo Bertelli (1943), John Lujack (1947), Leon Hart (1949), John Lattner (1953), Paul Hornung (1956) and John Huart (1964).

The Notre Dame standout became the second wide receiver to win the Heisman and is one of only three wide receivers to take home the honor. Nicknamed "Touchdown Timmy," Brown set 19 school records before he finished playing for the Irish.

During the 1988 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Raiders selected Brown sixth overall. He played with the Raiders for 16 seasons, after which the team released him. He spent the final season of his career with the Buccaneers in 2004 but signed a one-day contract with the Raiders in the following year, allowing him to retire on the team.

Brown made an impact right away for the Raiders in his first season, setting the NFL record for most combined yards by a rookie with 2,317 yards. He earned first-team All-Pro honors and the first of his nine Pro Bowls that year.

He set numerous records in the NFL with the Raiders. When he retired, Brown was the third all-time receiver with 1,094 receptions for 14,934 yards and 100 career touchdown catches. He retired in fifth place in career yards with 19,682 yards.

After his pro career ended, Brown was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. He is a member of the 1990s All-Decade team, as well.

The MC Athletics Dinner takes place Tuesday, Nov. 1, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Mississippi College (200 XXX St., Clinton). Before the event in Anderson Hall, fans can take pictures with Brown and his Heisman for $5, which includes a digital copy sent to an email address in two weeks.

Brown will also take photos with fans beside his Heisman and his Hall of Fame bust for $10 for a digital copy and $20 for a hard copy. Either picture will be available in two weeks.

Brown joins past keynote speakers Bobby Bowden, Sylvester Croom, Fred McAfee, Gene Stallings, John Smoltz and others. A silent auction will be held in Anderson Hall, and a live auction will be held during the event.

For more information, please contact David Nichols at 601-925-3234 ornichols@mc.edu

Like independent media outlets around the world, the Jackson Free Press works hard to produce important content on a limited budget. We'd love your help! Become a JFP VIP member today and/or donate to our journalism fund. Thanks for considering a JFP VIP membership or one-time support.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

comments powered by Disqus