ATHENS – In a semester when most college football players are coasting through the classroom, Thomas Brown is, true to his nature, sprinting to the finish line.
Brown, No. 11 Georgia's senior running back, is taking 21 hours this semester so he can graduate in December and concentrate fully this spring on preparing himself for the NFL Draft.
"I was trying to keep that quiet," Brown said after Coach Mark Richt revealed the extraordinary workload this week.
Southern Cal quarterback Matt Leinart famously took one course, ballroom dancing, during the semester of his senior season. Georgia's D.J. Shockley took two courses during his final football semester.
That's more the norm, but Brown -- who is taking four speech classes, African literature and philosophy -- has never been normal.
"A lot of people were telling him, ‘Don't even try to do it,'" Richt said. "He thrives on people telling him he can't. I don't know what makes him tick the way he does, why he feels like he has to prove something. I don't know what it is, he just has this mental toughness that is not matched on our team or since I've been here really."