BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — It was a blistering Friday morning on the Houchens-Smith
Stadium turf for Day 2 of Fall Camp, as WKU Football continued working in
preparation for its Week 1 matchup at Wisconsin, now exactly four weeks away.
One of the new faces out on the field for the Hilltoppers is offensive assistant
Chris Brown, a former Notre Dame wide receiver who played in South Bend from
2012-15. In four years in a Fighting Irish uniform, Brown had 104 receptions for
1,410 yards and six touchdowns, which included 87 catches, 1,145 yards and five
scores in his final two seasons.
Brown signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent following the 2016 NFL Draft,
then also spent time in the Cincinnati Bengals organization before being released in
2017. Although it was not an ideal situation for a young man chasing his
professional dream, it gave him an opportunity to finish his college degree.
“When I was in-between teams, I sat down with my mom and we talked about how I only
had two classes left to finish,” he said. “I walked in 2016, but I still had a
mission to [get my diploma] and now my mom has it at the house and no one can take
that from me. When I did finish, that gave me the opportunity to come to Coach
Sanford, who I have tremendous respect for.”
Head coach Mike Sanford first noticed Brown when he was coaching at Stanford in 2012
and 2013, as the Cardinal and Fighting Irish squared off in back-to-back seasons.
Sanford then got to coach Brown as Notre Dame’s offensive coordinator in 2015.
But even though he wore different colors in the past, just like Sanford, Brown has
found a home on The Hill.
“I’m a Hilltopper now. I’m glad I can help these wide receivers and I’m trying to
win a lot of games,” he said. “This is also an opportunity for me to learn more
about football and about myself … These coaches have my back. They’re teaching me
and developing me as a person and I’ll see where it takes me.”
Although he did not know offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Junior Adams
before arriving at WKU, they were introduced and have since been working together to
help guide a young, deep group of talented wideouts.
“Coach Adams is a great guy, he teaches the fundamentals of all receivers and you
can’t beat that,” Brown said. “They have his guidance and I’m just here to fill in
the blanks. I’m just trying to help in any way I can because at the end of the day
these kids are where I was at.”
Finding ways to get the wide receivers the rock will be on the shoulders of
quarterback Drew Eckels and the other WKU field generals. He knows that the work
they have put in during summer player-run practices has helped him and the group
become more familiar with the offense, but there is always room to grow.
“I want to be a film rat and gym rat, I want to learn more about the game of
football every day,” he said when asked about his goals for Fall Camp. “I want to
learn all I can because no matter how much you think you know there’s always stuff
that you don’t, and thats what I’m going to take pride in.”
The well-known saying of “Iron Sharpens Iron” has been a common theme for the
Hilltoppers, and it hits the nail on the head in terms of what going up against one
another for the next month will
“We have a great defense. They have great tendencies, really good alignments and
good schemes that we’re going against,” Eckels said. “We’re helping each other out
by trying to work against each other, and that’s the greatest part about camp.”