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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football team was greeted by a special visitor on Wednesay (Aug. 25) as former Bulldog standout and NFL linebacker turned professional wrestler Monty Brown was in town for the day.
Brown, who became the first Bulldog athlete in school history to
be named both a first-team All-American and a first-team Academic
All-American, was the leader of a football resurgence at Ferris
during the 1990's. He went on to play for five years in the
National Football League and was a member of two different Super
Bowl teams before beginning a career in professional wrestling.
The Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame member spent the day with the FSU football team. He worked out with some players in the weightroom, attended practice and spoke to the team last night. Brown has maintained a close relationship since his playing days with both Ferris head coach Jeff Pierce and Defensive Coordinator Duane Wilson.
"Coach Wilson gave me a jingle and asked me if I wanted to come up and see what's going on," Brown said. "We picked a day and I decided to come and spend some time with the guys.
"There's a lot of young and hungry guys. They've got a lot of potential and hopefully they can put it all together this season," he added.
Brown spent part of practice following and working with the defense, including the linebackers, where he excelled during his playing career.
"Coach Wilson certainly knows what he is doing, but I'll put in
my little two cents here and there," he said.
The Bulldog football legend placed fifth as a national finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy awarded to the NCAA Division II Player of the Year in 1992 after twice receiving first team all-conference accolades. The three-time first team league all-academic team pick was the conference co-player of the year in 1992 and the school's MVP as a senior.
Brown earned consensus first team All-America kudos his final year and was honored as the C.M. Frank National Defensive Player of the Year. He continues to hold the school record for fumble recoveries in his career and ranks second with 584 total tackles along with 12th in sacks (17.5). In addition, his 16 career interceptions is also second in Bulldog history and he led Ferris in tackles three consecutive seasons (1990-92). The Bulldogs posted a 10-3 mark his final campaign and became the first of five consecutive FSU teams to reach the NCAA Division II Playoffs.
Brown went on to play football professionally for five years, competing in Super Bowl XXVIII for the Bills in 1994. He also started as an inside linebacker for the New England Patriots in 1996.
In professional wrestling, he is best known for his time with both World Wrestling Entertainment's ECW brand, where he wrestled under the ring name Marcus Cor Von and, prior to that, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where he wrestled under his given name. In both companies he utilized the nickname "The Alpha Male."
Brown also has wrestled for a number of independent promotions, including Blood, Sweat and Ears, Juggalo Championship Wrestling and the Universal Wrestling Alliance. He's wrestled off and on for the past decade, but is not currently in the ring.
The trip back to Big Rapids is always worthwhile, according to Brown, who was inducted into the school's hall of fame last fall.
"It's always great to be back," Brown said. "You want the best for these kids. Coach Pierce and Coach Wilson and out here giving everything they have for them.
"Coach Pierce is like a dad to me and it's always good to come back and see him and his family. I'm excited as soon as I get off the exit," added Brown.
Note: Big Rapids Pioneer Zeke Jennings contributed to this story.