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Matt Brown Shines on Field, in Classroom

Matthew Brown
Matthew Brown

Matthew Brown enrolled at the University of Mississippi both to carry on a family tradition and to play sports at an SEC university. Both his parents graduated from the university, so when he was presented an opportunity to join the football team, he quickly accepted the chance to live out a lifelong dream.

However, Brown knew that he wanted to pursue educational opportunities that were available as a result of his aptitude for math and science. As a result, he chose to pursue a degree in chemical engineering.

But being a student-athlete while following a rigorous academic program in engineering has not been without its challenges.

“Time management was the biggest key to being able to stay on top of my coursework while managing the busy schedule that being a member of the football team presents,” the former Rebel tight end said.

Team meetings, workouts and game days are just a few of the additional schedule items that student-athletes such as Brown have to take on while still attending classes, labs and study groups. He is confident that he has become a more well-rounded person as a result of his experiences and pushing himself to achieve his goals.

“The skills I’ve gained from being a member of a collegiate sports team have not only helped me in the classroom, but they also helped me outside the classroom as I have sought professional positions in the field of engineering,” Brown said. “Balancing football and chemical engineering has not been easy, but the late nights of studying and working on projects have been worthwhile so that I could achieve my goals in athletics and academics.”

Brown’s efforts and discipline were noticed by those in athletics.

“Matt was the true embodiment of the term student-athlete,” said Justin Light, senior academic counselor. “I always knew that I could trust that he was going to work just as hard in the classroom as he was on the field. I have no doubt he is destined for even more success in his career.”

Although the journey has been challenging, Brown has excelled in the classroom. During his time at Ole Miss, he has consistently been listed on the Chancellor’s, Dean’s, SEC Academic or UMAA honor rolls. He also completed his degree in four years and graduated cum laude as a member of the Class of 2016.

One of his highest honors came recently when he was one of three Ole Miss players named to the 2016 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society. Brown, along with fellow seniors Dillon Barrett and Quintavius Burdette, were recognized for their academic accomplishments by the society.

The NFF Hampshire Honor Society is composed of college football players from all divisions who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career. Some 868 players from 275 schools qualified for membership as the society celebrates its 10th year, setting a new record for the number of players honored during the history of the program.

As Brown reflected on his time at the university, he had some words of encouragement for future student-athletes who want to pursue a similar academic path.

“I would first and foremost tell them to make the most of their opportunity to get a degree and enjoy the process of furthering their athletic career,” Brown said. “The most successful people are those who accept obstacles, stare them in the face and overcome them, no matter how difficult.”

Brown, who will soon begin his career as a REACH Engineer with International Paper in Louisiana, also said that finishing his football career with a Sugar Bowl win is a memory he will cherish forever.

Courtesy of Ryan Upshaw and the Ole Miss News Desk

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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