John Brown’s incredible performance on the field puts him in the class of the Ravens’ best wide receivers of today. His physical strength, agility and body control are among those high-value points that helped pushed him up the ladder of NFL stardom. Although his health sometimes goes awry, John Brown has managed to keep up with his good games.
He has an exceptional ability to catch the ball, especially in crowded situations. If facts were anything, this is one skill most NFL receivers only have in average doses. Not Brown. Talent may have played a part but training brought him here. Rigorous training! Asides the support he receives from teammates, Brown has always had the full support of his family members and this, as he admits, has been his major source of courage to push further in his NFL career.
Where and How Did John Brown Start His Journey To The NFL?
John Brown was born on Tuesday, April 3, 1990, in Homestead, Florida. As a juvenile, Brown showed awesome athletic traits; one his family could easily recognize. They were of the opinion that, pursuing a football career would mean more to his success than any other profession there is. However, there were obstacles to seeing that happen. For one, Brown did not have the towering height akin to NFL stars.
His growth has been pretty normal until that time. But his height was considered a major issue. Secondly, Brown’s fragile health meant that his dreams would have to sometimes take the back seat. As he recalls, that was a major obstacle in the way. This health challenge would haunt him years later when health experts diagnosed him with sickle cell and advised that he stayed off the pitch for a while. More on that later.
On the academic scene, John Brown went to Homestead High School where he could not do so much as a sportsman. However, he earned some degree of popularity in 2007 after being named All-Dade County selection as a senior that year.
The Highs and Lows of His College Career
When he proceeded to the North Carolina-based Mars Hill College, he began to make good in his football skills, leading the school’s football team with an all-purpose yard of 1,472. He also recorded 7 touchdowns and caught 27 passes for 619 yards. For this, he was named the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) fresher of the year despite being undersized. But his field success came at a price. Around this period, Brown’s academics suffered a major blow and soon enough, he was relieved of his football duties until he got his act together.
After one year on the bench and seeing no possibility of getting back to action in Mars Hill, Brown transferred to Coffeyville Community College in 2010. However, he could not play for the community college because he was redshirted. College football players and athletes are sometimes kept out of competitions for a year. The reason is to help them grow their skills and eventually lengthen their eligibility period.
He also eyed an opportunity in MidAmerica Nazarene University. His half-brother, James Walker, had played on the MZU team for a while. He relished the idea of playing on the same team as Walker but before that happened, gunmen attacked Walker, shooting him multiple times in July 2010. He succumbed to his injuries months later in April 2011. Rather than dampening his hope, Walker’s death only urged Brown to play football; never looking back on his ailment or the reversals he’s faced in the past. He received a scholarship to play for Pittsburgh State University.
He then joined the PSU team in 2011. After receiving for 1,216 yards and 12 touchdowns in the Gorillas’s game at the NCAA Division II National Championship, Brown earned for himself second-team All-MIAA as a wide receiver. Other accolades he received in that period include, 2nd-team All-MIAA as a wide receiver; the NCAA Division II National Special Teams Player of the Year, First-team All-MIAA player as Pasuma, and the First-team All-MIAA Player.
Bursting Onto The National Football League
John Brown began his professional career in 2014. That year, he was selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 91st overall pick in NFL’s third-round. As the first Pittsburg State Gorilla drafted since 1993, Brown knew the value of this golden opportunity and was poised to make a remarkable future for himself in the NFL. Hence, starting from the week one of the 2014 seasons, he began to work pretty hard, catching his first professional touchdown on a 13-yard pass in a game against the San Diego Chargers.
His first multi-touchdown came a fortnight later, in a match against the San Francisco 49ers. By week 10 of the 2014 season, Brown already earned a name for himself in the history of the NFL. He became the first rookie to have 4-game-winning touchdowns in a season, in the entire history of the NFL. He rounded up that season with 5 touchdowns and 48 receptions on 103 targets for 696 yards. This success was also achieved in 2015 but 2016 and 2017 were quite difficult for the young Floridian as he suffered health challenges and injuries.
On March 13, 2018, after four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, Brown joined the Baltimore Ravens on a one-year contract worth $5 million. In a game against the Buffalo Bills, he scored his first Ravens touchdown. In the fourth week of the season’s game, he recorded 3 receptions for 116 yards and one touchdown in the victory.
When his contract ended with the Baltimore Ravens, John Brown joined the Buffalo Bills on March 13, 2019, on a three-year contract worth $27 million. At the beginning of the season, he played against the New York Jets, finishing with seven receptions for 123 yards. In a Week 7 match, Brown faced off the Miami Dolphins, giving the Buffalo Bills a 17–14 lead against the Dolphins. The game ended with a 31–21 win for the Bills as Brown caught five passes for 83 yards. That season, he recorded 72 receptions for 1,060 receiving yards and six touchdowns. So far, the wide receiver has averaged 14.9 receptions for 4,290 receiving yards. Even as a successful NFL player, John Brown has a life behind the camera.
John Brown’s Family Life
Alex may not have gone this far without the help and support of his family. Much of the courage he gained was from his half-brother, best friend and football player James Walker. John, in his early years, was fond of wielding James’s pads around while James played in college games.
During his college years, Brown lost his closest friend, James, who was shot dead during his college break. Before James’ death, Brown promised to score the first in the upcoming season which he later fulfilled. During an interview, Brown also revealed that he often hears his brother speak to him in times he wants to give up in games.
How Tall Is He and How Much Does He Weigh?
Brown’s height is anything other than the perfect figures for a typical NFL star. At 5 feet 11 inches tall, he is considered short for football games. But make no mistakes, what he lacks in height, he’s gained in speed and agility. He weighs 80 kg (178 lb).
Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Him
1. He Is Not Called “Smokey” For His Speed
While most people know him by his moniker “Smokey”, fans attribute it to his speed but that’s a far cry. His grandmother’s boyfriend had bestowed him the name because of his dark skin colour. Unlike most kids, Brown came out much darker than he is today.
2. He Was An Embattled Child
As an infant, he endured bouts of illness after being diagnosed with sickle cell. Despite his health challenges, he remained astute and determined in his career.
3. A Father of One
Although not too many fans know about this, John Brown has a daughter named Caia. The identity of Caia’s mother remains shrouded in secrecy. But the player still keeps a good public profile.