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Former NAIA Hooper Chases NFL Dream with Dolphins

April 16, 2012
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Written by Ben Volin, Palm Beach Post; Photo courtesy of Westminster Sports Information

A lot of people told Les Brown he was crazy.

Why would he give up a promising finance career with a major private equity firm to chase some silly dream of reaching the NFL? Brown, a former college basketball player at NAIA Westminster College in Utah, hadn't even played football since he was in high school six years ago.

"I had a lot of people saying, 'Man, what are you doing?' " Brown said Saturday by phone from his home in Salt Lake City. "You're just chasing a dream. You have a better chance of hitting the lottery."

Brown hasn't hit the lottery yet. But he's already proved a lot of people wrong.

Brown, 24, signed a three-year contract with the Dolphins on Friday night to play tight end. He was promised nothing more than a chance to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster - the Dolphins already have tight ends Anthony Fasano, Charles Clay, Jeron Mastrud and Will Yeatman returning from last year's roster - but Brown makes an intriguing case to make the team. The 6-foot-4, 238-pounder was the surprise star of Brigham Young's Pro Day last month, running a 4.43 in the 40-yard dash and recording a vertical leap of 39 inches.

"I understand this is just the first step, and the hard work begins now," Brown said. "But I just want to do this for me, so I don't have to spend the rest of my life asking, 'What if I would've played football?' "

Much like current Dolphins pass rusher Cameron Wake, who spent his first two years out of college as a stock broker, Brown thought he'd be in the financial world after college, not in an NFL locker room.

Brown excelled in football, baseball and basketball at Highland High in Salt Lake City, earning all-state honors in football as a wide receiver and receiving college scholarship offers in all three sports, including opportunities to play football at Oregon, Washington State and BYU. But Brown said he wanted to play basketball and stay near home to help his ailing mother, so he chose a scholarship at a local private school, Westminster College.

To read the complete article, click here.

To watch video of Brown's pro-day workout, click here.