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Dre Brown may have the best story of the Illinois football season

Redshirt sophomore running back perseveres to make an impact.

Dre Brown has been through a lot in his career.

A local player who starred at Dekalb, Brown signed with Illinois over offers from Indiana and the hometown NIU Huskies. Many other schools showed interest, including Iowa who probably would have pulled the trigger with an offer if they hadn't been filled up scholarship-wise.

Once he got to Illinois, however, the real test began as Brown missed two full seasons due to ACL tears in both knees. He had to climb all the way back from that mentally, all the while dealing with a coaching change, being recruited over and losing the opportunity to be the lead back.

All that perseverance paid off this season though, as Brown thankfully got to see the field as a kick returner and depth at running back. Finally, No. 25 got his shot to play the game he loves.

Dre Brown’s climb back onto the field to make some plays in the second half of the season was easily one of the highlights of what was a lost 2017 for the football team.

Now, he has an opportunity to work his way into the rotation at running back with an offensive system, led by new OC Rod Smith, that fits his skill set like a glove. The one-cut and go talent is there for Dre Brown to make an even bigger impact as a junior. He's an easy story to root for.

And don’t forget, the man got engaged too!