Brown Named Southeast Back Of Year

Auburn, Ala.--He started the season as a backup, but that didn't prevent Ronnie Brown from rushing for more than 1,000 yards and being recognized as the top running back in the Southeast during his sophomore season.

On Saturday, the 6-1, 223-pound junior-to-be will be in Atlanta where he will accept the Atlanta Touchdown Club's Southeast Top Offensive Back award.

Ronnie Brown

In his last game, Brown rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns as he was named Most Valuable Offensive Player of Auburn's 13-9 Capital One Bowl victory over Penn State in Orlando on New Year's Day. For the season, he rushed for 1,008 yards on 175 carries while scoring 13 TDs, the fifth highest single season total in AU history. He played in 12 games and started six after Carnell Williams suffered a season-ending injury in the Florida game. Brown missed the victory over Alabama due a severe ankle sprain suffered in the Georgia contest.

In 2001 as a redshirt freshman, Brown played in 11 games and started five. He rushed for 330 yards on 84 carries despite playing with a series of injuries that would have kept many other players off the field entirely. He played through a turf toe problem as well as shoulder and thigh injuries.

Ronnie Brown averaged 5.8 yards per carry last season.

Brown was a star tailback at Cartersville, Ga., High School, leading his team to a state championship by rushing for 1,931 yards at 9.4 yards per carry as a senior while scoring 25 touchdowns.

Auburn has a history of producing outstanding backs. Brown is the 11th AU player to receive the honor from the Atlanta Touchdown Club. Others include Travis Tidwell (1949), Bobby Freeman (1954), Fob James (1955), Tucker Fredickerson (1964), Pat Sullivan (1970), Terry Henley (1972), Joe Cribbs (1979), Bo Jackson (1983 and 1985), Brent Fullwood (1986) and Rudi Johnson (2000).

Brown will be in Atlanta on Saturday to receive the award at a ceremony at the Cobb Galleria Convention Center.

Brown and his teammates are expected to have one of the top football teams in the SEC in 2003. Auburn begins spring practice on Tuesday and will have 15 practice sessions with the final one being the annual A-Day spring football game at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 5th at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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