Record-Setting Quarterback Visits

In yet another Packer Report exclusive, we talked to four-year starter Matt Brown of Illinois State. With Brown accounting for 87 touchdowns, ISU posted four consecutive winning seasons for the first time in more than 60 years.

Signaling that the Green Bay Packers perhaps aren't quite sold on the quarterback platoon behind Aaron Rodgers, they hosted Illinois State's Matt Brown on a pre-draft visit.

"I loved it," Brown told Packer Report on Tuesday night. "I met Coach McCarthy for a moment. It was kind of surreal to meet the type of guys that you would never think you would be able to meet.

"I've always enjoyed Packer football and their brand of football, and I've always appreciated it. It was great to go up there and be able to see where all the legendary Packer players played. To be in that same atmosphere was an awesome feeling."

Brown was the Missouri Valley Conference's offensive player of the year, rewriting the school record book with 62.0 percent accuracy, 3,370 yards, 27 touchdown passes, 34 total touchdowns and 3,522 yards of total offense en route to leading the Redbirds to their first FCS playoff berth since 2006. In the playoff opener, he threw for 322 yards and five touchdowns in an overtime upset victory at powerhouse Appalachian State.

"Just being able to make the playoffs this year," Brown said of his prized accomplishment as a four-year starter. "We hadn't been to the playoffs since 2006 and it was our goal before the season to get to the playoffs and to not just play in the first or second round but get as far as we could. What we accomplished here, that's the most proud that I've ever been in football."

Brown started the final 45 games of his career, helping Illinois State post four consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1947 through 1950. He is the school's career leader in pass attempts (1,455), completions (927), passing yards (10,591), passing touchdowns (78), completion percentage (63.7), passing yards per game (230.2), total offense yards (10,952) and touchdowns responsible for (87).

"Probably two things that I hold above everything else is my 45 consecutive starts," Brown said. "I thought that was pretty cool, because not too many people get the opportunity to play college football, let alone being able to start a few games. I surpassed my own expectations of what I wanted to do here, so that was one of the major things I accomplished was just being able to be consistent enough and be durable enough to start 45 games in a row. The second thing would be my rushing touchdowns this year. I had a friendly bet going with one of my buddies on the team and I told him I'd be able to break five rushing touchdowns and I got seven."

Brown laughed when asked if athletic ability and scrambling were strengths to his game, though he had a more than respectable 4.83 in the 40-yard dash with an outstanding 35-inch vertical at his pro day.

"I think I'm elusive in the pocket but I wouldn't say I'm mobile by any means," he said. "I know how to shift the pocket but I don't know about pure speed or quickness. I know angles pretty well so I know how to get away from the big guys that like to eat."

Brown has an above-average arm and a ton of experience. At Illinois State, the coaches entrusted him with running a lot of the offense at the line of scrimmage, which is a necessity for a team like Green Bay. He was mentored by offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Luke Huard, who played at North Carolina and is the brother of former NFL quarterbacks Brock and Damon Huard.

"My knowledge of the game is one of the things that teams like about me," Brown said. "My ability to talk X's and O's and then go apply it out on the field is something teams have taken an interest in."

Several teams are interested in Brown, including the Ravens, 49ers, Dolphins, Jaguars, Buccaneers and Bears.

So, why should a team use a precious draft pick or roster spot on him?

"I'm one of the hardest-working guys that you'll ever meet," Brown answered. "When I set my mind something, I'll do it. If you tell me that I have things to work on, I'm definitely going to work on those things. Just my work ethic and my determination and my will to succeed. I've never been on a losing team my entire career. I like to win — I love to win. There's nothing more I like to do than go out there and get the ‘W.' Anything that I can do to help the team do that is what I'm going to do. I think that winning attitude is necessary at the next level and is hard to come by in this day and age."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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