The 90 Illini #39: Chase Brown
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Who were the last set of identical twins on the Illini? (Who was the last set of identical twins? Who were the last set of identical twins? I can't tell which one sounds right. Has to be were but it sounds funky.) Were the Schau brothers identical twins? Or were they the other one (is it fraternal or paternal)? Why am I asking so many questions?
I think it's were. And I think the Schau brothers were identical twins. And I think it's paternal. Maybe?
39. Chase Brown
Uniform number: 2
Year in school: Redshirt Sophomore (3 years to play 3)
Height: 5'-11" -- Weight: 195 lbs.
Hometown: London, Ontario
High School: St. Stephens Episcopal (Florida)
Former team: Transfer from Western Michigan
Five best offers: Indiana, Syracuse, UCF, Western Michigan, South Dakota
Tom Cruise rating: 3.5 Cruises
2019 statistics: Played in 4 games and then sat the rest of the season to preserve his redshirt.
Chase Brown is THE IDENTICAL TWIN BROTHER of safety Sydney Brown. Their story:
They were twin brothers playing football in Canada. They wanted a shot at college football. They played their final two years at St. Stephens in Florida and they earned scholarship offers. Sydney was our "quietly sign him on signing day because we didn't want anyone else to discover him" recruit in the 2018 class. Chase signed with Western Michigan.
You know the Sydney story (just pull up the Michigan State highlights). The Chase story is that he played a decent amount as a freshman at Western Michigan. WMU still had Lavante Bellamy (currently playing for the Denver Broncos) at tailback, but Brown did get 71 carries for 352 yards and 10 catches for 75 yards as a freshman. That offseason, he transferred to join his brother in Champaign.
And he did receive a waiver to play right away. He did, in four games, but then they shut him down to preserve the redshirt. With the 2020 season being a freebie that doesn't count towards eligibility, he'll now have four years of eligibility in Champaign. He could technically still be carrying the football in Champaign in 2023.
I'm on the record as saying Mike Epstein will be A) healthy and B) a beast. You'll find him in the top five on this list (spoiler). With a nine-game season, I think he'll gobble up a ton of the carries. Technically, he has very fresh legs.
I included Chase Brown in my "Ten Names You'll Learn In 2020" article on New Years Day because I do expect him to burst onto the scene this year. He's a fairly powerful runner. So why have him at #39 on this list and not #15? Mostly because I think there will be a "getting into the flow of the offense" season first. 2021 (and 2022 and 2023) he will see a lot of carries. I think there's one season between this and that.
But he's still talented. I'll end with one of his runs from the four games he played in last year.