"I had no idea what it was," said Brown, laughing. "I came in and was wondering who had sent me this box. So I opened it up, it did have a letter in it, but inside was a football that had the College Football Hall of Fame on it. That's actually how I found out... that's the way it went down.
"I was shocked, mainly because I expected to receive a phone call from them... didn't think I would find out like that. So the letter said to not reveal anything until Tuesday. It was a unique way to let us know, I can say that."
The only player in ACC history to be named first-team All-ACC four times, Brown rushed for 4,602 yards, a conference record that still stands today, and his play led to him being selected in the first round of the 1979 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings.
He was among 14 former players and coaches formally announced on Tuesday as the newest class of inductees into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
"It's a great honor," said Brown. "It's something that I will cherish for along time. To me, it puts you in the upper echelon of coaches and players that have played the game. When you think about how many great players that have played in college, to be a part of this group, it's very, very special. I can't say that enough."
Brown's induction into the College Football Hall of Fame is probably long overdue.
A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation's honors courts ten years after his final year of intercollegiate football played. Brown's last season was 1978, and he is the fifth former Wolfpack player to be inducted, joining Jack McDowall (1975), Roman Gabriel (1989), Jim Ritcher (1998), and Dennis Byrd (2010).
"A special plug should go to David Horning because he's always said I'm going to get in, they'll work to get me in," said Brown. "I've had to wait over 30 years, but that doesn't take away how great it feels.
"For me, I would have loved to have gone in with Jim Ritcher, my teammate, who was inducted in 1998. The reason I say that is I probably wouldn't have got all those yards and touchdowns without him blocking for me, opening up holes, and he probably wouldn't have been as highly regarded if I didn't rush for all those yards and touchdowns. It's like when we were inducted into NC State's Hall of Fame and you watch my highlights and you see Jim, and you watch Jim's highlights and you see me."
Brown compared finding out he was picked to the way he was informed that he would be a member of NC State's inaugural Hall of Fame class last year.
"I remember Debbie Yow calling me and asking if I was sitting down," said Brown, laughing. "That's how I found out from NC State. That was very special to me because that is my school.
"Also, I am a member of the first class going in, and that is always special. That means so much because it's something that will forever be remembered. They'll always remember that first class. It's where it all begins."
It means even more to Brown because of who he was inducted into NC State's Hall of Fame with... a seven-athlete, three-coach class littered with Wolfpack legends.
"Well, who I went in with at NC State made it even more special," he said. "David Thompson... probably the greatest college basketball player ever. You can talk about Alcindor, but D.T. made his mark. There was no one as athletic as he was and could do the things that he could do.
"Then to go in with Roman Gabriel, he revolutionized the quarterback position... he was the prototype. A guy like Jim [Ritcher] who changed the way interior linemen, centers played, with his ability to pull and lead block. Genia Beasley... Coach Valvano.... I could go on and on. That group is special."
For Ted Brown, his College Football Hall of Fame selection is still sinking in. He added that he hasn't had a chance to celebrate just yet, but he plans to do so in the near future.
"I'll celebrate by playing some golf. I'm going to head to Kohler, Wisconsin and play a few golf courses... the U.S. Open course. That's the way I'm going to celebrate this."