No mud on this guy

The tiny Indiana town of Wakarusa traces its name to an Indian word meaning "knee deep in mud." Fortunately, there is nothing about one native son's running style that resembles the town's colorful origin.

Coy Brown is a 6-0, 215-pound running back who attends Northwood High in nearby Nappanee. He consistently posts 4.7 clockings in the 40-yard dash, speed he used to rush for 1,204 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior last fall, earning honorable mention all-state honors on a team that finished just 5-6. He averaged 5.77 yards per carry and also starred as an outside linebacker - registering 60 solo stops, 3 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles and an interception.

Brown was one of the most impressive competitors in Sunday's InsideTennessee Combine held at Knoxville's D1 training facility. He bested the field, including the offensive and defensive linemen, by hoisting 185 pounds 29 times in the bench press. He posted his usual 4.7 in the 40 and showcased exceptional agility in the one-on-one drills. Ultimately, he finished a close second in the balloting for combine MVP honors to Scottsdale (Ariz.) running back Lucas Petrullo.

Brown reportedly has gotten a lot of interest from Northwestern, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Tennessee. The latter is why he drove the seven hours from Wakarusa to Knoxville to attend Saturday's Orange & White Game and Sunday's IT Combine.

Brown lists Tennessee, Northwestern and Michigan as his top three schools. He says he'll be happy to play linebacker in college, although he relishes being a running back.

"I like scoring touchdowns, like any other back," he said with a smile. "I could be considered a power back but I'm elusive, as well."

Brown says he catches the ball well, although he posted just one receiving touchdown last fall.

"I'm a big guy with good feet and good hands out of the backfield," he said, "so I think I can do both things (run and catch)."

Several colleges view Brown more as a linebacker prospect, however, and he has no problem with that.

"I love playing defense, with my body size and everything," he said. "Just being aggressive and getting after it is definitely exciting."

Basically, Brown enjoys being on the football field, regardless of what position he plays.

"It's inspired me to be the best I can be," he said. "I love helping my team win championships and be the best we can be."

Brown lives just 25 miles from the Notre Dame campus in South Bend but does not appear to be on the Fighting Irish's radar. He visited Indiana's campus three weeks ago and Northwestern's two weeks ago.

"I'm also interested in Michigan and, obviously, Tennessee," he said.

Brown is a dedicated student who carries a 3.2 grade-point average. Thus, Northwestern's status as one of America's premier academic institutions could be a big plus for the Wildcats.

"The first thing I'm looking for in a school is academics," Brown said. "I want to study physical therapy, so that's big for me. I'm also looking at the coaches, playing time and how the school fits me and my family."

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