STATESBORO — Robert Brown, a major factor in the success of the triple option at Georgia Southern in 2010, has been medically disqualified from further participating in football practice or competition, the school announced.
As a junior in 2012, Brown played in four games to start the season, suffered an injury and returned for one additional game in October before being sidelined for the rest of the year. He finishes his career with 2,063 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, as well as 11 receptions for 97 yards.
Brown will remain with the team and assist the program in another capacity.
Brown debuted as a freshman running back in the 2010 season opener at Paulson Stadium, rushing for 122 yards, the first time a first-year player freshman had rushed for more than 100 yards in a game since Adrian Peterson in 1998, and the first time a true freshman accomplished the feat since Joe Ross in 1987.
The best outing of his career came in 2010 at William & Mary in the second round of the playoffs, when he ran for a team-leading 178 yards and the Eagles’ first touchdown in the upset. While his rushing total against the Tribe may have been his highest, the most memorable moment may have been his four-yard score against Appalachian State earlier in the year as the touchdown would prove to be the game-winner in the victory over the nation’s top-ranked team.
Brown led the Eagles in rushing in six games in 2010, including 153 yards against Western Carolina with the longest run of his career, an 80-yard touchdown. His back-to-back performances garnered him back-to-back Southern Conference freshman of the week honors, and he was named to the league’s all-freshman team.
Brown eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in the NCAA semifinals game at Delaware and scored a touchdown for Georgia Southern. He matched the accomplishments of the two Eagle greats again, as the first to run for 1,000-yards in his first collegiate season since Peterson (1998) and first true freshman to do so since Ross (1987).
The Macon native would come close to the milestone in 2011 with 937 yards in 13 games, averaging nearly seven yards per rushing attempt, with 11 plays of 20 or more yards. Brown recorded three more games of 100 yards rushing or more, including a 169-yard outing to help the Eagles fight their way to a win over Chattanooga. Brown earned SoCon second-team honors from the league’s Media Association for his second season.
One of coach Jeff Monken’s first signees, Brown was the Region I AAAA Offensive player of the Year in 2009 after helping lead Macon Westside to an 11-2 record and Elite Eight appearance. He was also a first team all-region selection, totaling 1,917 yards with 22 yards as a senior in high school.