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Free Agency Roundup: Ronnie Brown
The Chargers solidified their corps of running backs when they agreed to terms in June on a one-year contract with former first-round draft pick Ronnie Brown. The 6-0, 230-pounder spent the 2011 season in Philadelphia.
A former Auburn Tiger, Brown was the second overall pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. In six seasons for the Dolphins, he rushed for 4,815 yards and 36 touchdowns, while catching 184 passes for 1,491 yards and a pair of scores. He ranks third on the Dolphins’ all-time list for rushing yards and touchdowns, and is tied with Hall of Fame running back Larry Csonka for the second-most 100-yard rushing games in team history. From 2005-07, Brown averaged better than 4.0 yards per carry for the Dolphins, becoming the team’s first back to do so for three-straight seasons since Tony Nathan from 1983-85.
Brown posted his only 1,000-yard season in 2006, rushing for 1,008 yards for the Dolphins. He earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2008 after scoring a career-high 10 touchdowns, while rushing for 916 yards. A versatile threat, Brown also threw two touchdown passes for the Dolphins out of the Wildcat formation, one each during the 2008 and ’09 seasons against New England.
The 30-year-old Brown is a native of Cartersville, Ga. The state’s 2A Player of the Year in football as a senior at Cartersville High, Brown also was a stellar baseball player. He was drafted by Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners in the 50th round in 2000. Brown bypassed the major leagues to attend Auburn where he was a two-time second- team All-SEC pick.
In Sept. 2010, Brown started the Ronnie Brown Project and a campaign entitled “23 Ways to Stop Youth Violence.” It was a project with one main goal: to stop violence in schools. His target was middle and high school students in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties in Florida, and Brown worked closely with the Jason Taylor Foundation, Teen Truth Live and the Miami-Dade Violence Intervention Project to make the program a success. Brown still visits schools on a regular basis to deliver his message.
Now married to Taylor, his former college sweetheart, Brown’s message carries a personal tone as he could have fallen into the same trap as many of today’s youth. Both of his parents dealt with legal issues when Ronnie was a child and it would’ve been easy for his life to go astray. Fortunately, Brown had a supportive family that looked after him in Cartersville and his parents’ troubles are long a thing of the past.
Brown was a communications major at Auburn. During his junior year, he interned at the Auburn Network, editing and producing highlight films.