Walking into the Rose Bowl and seeing his name on a placard above his own locker room stall, slipping on a green game jersey for the first time and holding the trophy after Michigan State’s 24-20 victory over Stanford made countless hours toiling on the practice squad worth every second for Corry Brown.
The Three Rivers native, a freshman who redshirted this year, soaked in all glory and history of Pasadena, Calif. with his teammates after MSU finished the regular season 11-1 and beat then-undefeated Ohio State in the Big Ten Conference Championship.
“It felt really surreal,” Brown said. “It was really fun. It was a dream come true. We talked about it all the time and nobody believed us. When we got there, we weren’t settling just to get there. We wanted to finish strong.”
Not only was it Brown’s first time dressing and traveling with the team, the cross-country trip was the first time he’d flown.
“That was a fun experience,” he said. “I didn’t chew gum, so my ears were popping a lot.”
Brown racked up 930 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior for the Wildcats, but was moved to defensive back in his first fall camp in East Lansing to shore up a unit thinned out due to injuries. It’s unclear right now where Brown will line up in the spring. Switching back to running back or working with the wide receivers are also possibilities. He caught 22 passes for 228 yards and two scores for Three Rivers in 2012.
Carrying the ball in 2014, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Brown said, would require gaining roughly 15 pounds.
“I’m going to find out during spring ball because that’s when you fight for positions,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to contributing on the actual field instead of just practice. I’m trying to get in wherever I can — special teams and kick return or something.”