College Football

Too small? NC State’s Ted Brown stands among college football’s greatest

jgiglio@newsobserver.comMay 7, 2013 

  • Ted Brown by the numbers

    4,602

    ACC career leader in rushing yards

    4

    Times named All-ACC first team

    5,001

    Career rushing yards including bowls

    49

    ACC record for rushing touchdowns

    5

    N.C. State players elected to Hall of Fame

  • Brown’s school records

    Ted Brown ranks No. 1, No. 2, No. 8 and No. 11 in N.C. State’s single-season rushing yards. It adds up to being the greatest running back in Wolfpack history. Here are a few of his notable school records:

    Rushing yards game251
    Rushing yards season1,350
    Rushing yards career4,602
    200-yard games career2
    100-yard games season9
    100-yard games career27
    Elite company

    Ted Brown will join four other N.C. State players in the College Football Hall of Fame, including teammate Jim Ritcher.

Ted Brown was told he was too small and too short to play college football.

“I heard it all,” said Brown, who played running back at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds.

Thirty-five years and 5,000 rushing yards later, the former N.C. State running back will hear his name called by the College Football Hall of Fame.

Brown, the leading rusher in ACC history, is one of 14 inductees to be honored by the National Football Foundation on Tuesday.

Brown, 56, will be the seventh former Wolfpack player or coach to be inducted.

Brown, the only player in conference history to be named first-team All-ACC four times, ran for 5,001 yards, including three bowl games, for N.C. State from 1975-78. The ACC and NCAA recognize his career total at 4,602 (his regular-season games only), which has stood as the conference record since his last game 35 years ago.

“It must be pretty decent,” Brown said. “I thought it would have been broken by now.”

Brown played eight seasons in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and the High Point native has lived in the Minneapolis area since he retired in 1986. He was humbled by the news Tuesday but also had wondered what took the National Football Foundation so long to call his name.

“That thought had crossed my mind,” Brown said, “but it’s a testament to my teammates and what we were able to accomplish as a team that they thought enough to include me.”

Brown also holds the ACC record for average rushing yards per game (107), career rushing touchdowns (49) and career 100-yard games (27).

He holds the N.C. State record for rushing yards in a game (251) and single season (1,350 in 1978). A consensus All-American as a senior in ’78, Brown also set the school for rushing attempts in a season with 302 in 11 games. To put that in perspective, T.A. McLendon is second on the school list with 245 attempts in 14 games in 2002.

“That made up for freshman season,” joked Brown, who had 142 carries as a freshman.

This is the second hall-of-fame honor for Brown in the past seven months. He was inducted with the first class of the N.C. State Athletic Hall of Fame in October.

“That meant a lot to be in the first class,” Brown said. “They can’t take that away from me.”

Former N.C. State teammate Jim Ritcher and coach Lou Holtz preceded Brown into the College Football Hall of Fame. This year’s class also includes Heisman Trophy winners Ron Dayne, the leading rusher in NCAA history, Vinny Testaverde and Danny Wuerffel.

The 14-man class will be inducted on Dec. 10 at a ceremony in New York.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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