Although what little Heisman hopes Donald Brown had went out the window when mythical Husky-slayer Pat White danced all over Rentschler Field this past Saturday, the national recognition for the nation's leading rusher hasn't completely disappeared.
Brown was named one of 15 semifinalists for the Maxwell award, given to the collegiate player of the year. The junior running back, however, was well aware of his chances at actually winning.
"It's an honor to be mentioned for an award like that, with all the great talents who are also finalists for that award. It's a great honor," Brown said. "But in reality, I'm not worried about that.
"Honestly, it's an honor, but at the same time it's unrealistic. A kid from UConn will never win an award like that."
Although he sounds a bit cynical, Brown was simply realistic in what the nomination meant to a UConn player, stacked up against the likes of Florida's Tim Tebow and Texas' Colt McCoy.
- More on Brown, a list of the Maxwell semifinalists and some other tidbits from Wednesday's short, predetermined, media ... thingy, after the jump
"Maybe inside the Big East we do, but outside, I don't think we get much respect," Brown said. "Maybe eventually. But outside of this building, UConn doesn't have much respect around the country. It's a shame, but you have to earn respect and that comes with the hard work, and you have to put that in every week."
Instead, Brown is focused on team goals and winning the three remaining games in what he called a "wacky" Big East conference.
"You know, it's an honor," he said. "But we still have to worry about the task at hand, and all that stuff will take care of itself during the season."
2008 Maxwell Semifinalists:
Sam Bradford, So., QB, Oklahoma; Brown, Jr., RB, Connecticut; Darryl Clark, Sr., QB, Penn State, Michael Crabtree, So., WR, Texas Tech; Chase Daniel, Sr., QB, Missouri, Shonn Greene, Jr., RB, Iowa; Graham Harrell, Sr., QB, Texas Tech; Jeremy Maclin, So., WR, Missouri, McCoy, Jr, QB, Texas; LeSean McCoy, So., RB, Pittsburgh; Knowshon Moreno, So., RB, Georgia; Javon Ringer, Sr., RB, Michigan State; Zac Robinson, Jr., QB, Oklahoma State; Mark Sanchez, Jr., QB, USC; Tebow, Jr., QB, Florida.
Other notes from practice:
- Although Darius Butler's injury leaves an opening at starting cornerback, junior Terry Baltimore likely won't be filling it. Although Baltimore said he isn't sure what will happen with the position, it appears as though he will be relegated to nickel duties, if that. Baltimore said Ronald "Reggie" McClain is ahead of him on the depth chart, and Gary Wilburn went in on defense as the nickel after Butler went down Saturday. Baltimore said he had a really bad headache against West Virginia, which could explain why Wilburn got the call, but it looks like Baltimore will be fighting for the nickelback spot, at best.
- Baltimore said he's been a bit discouraged by the lack of playing time he's received, but he's willing to work his way up from special teams, where he has excelled this year as a gunner (eight tackles in seven games).
- Both Browns -- Donald and Cody -- said they are already past the loss to West Virginia and are focused on playing Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, where they haven't won yet.
- Cody Brown said he's going to have to be a more vocal leader with Butler out four-to-six weeks.