Canadian RB Chase Brown named a Practice Player of the Week at Senior Bowl

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Butch Dill

Canadian running back Chase Brown has been named one of the Practice Players of the Week at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

The Illinois product received the top running back honours for the National team, as voted by the linebackers who were forced to face him in practice. Oklahoma’s Eric Gray received the award for the American team.

Brown took home the Jon Cornish Trophy as Canada’s top NCAA player following a sensational 2022 season. He carried the ball 328 times for 1,643 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground while adding 27 receptions for 240 yards and three more scores through the air.

The London, Ontario native was a consensus second-team All-American after leading an unexpected resurgence for the Fighting Illini and was named a finalist for the Doak Walker Award as college football’s top running back.

Brown finished his college career having rushed for 3,558 yards and 18 touchdowns on 676 carries over 47 games with Illinois and Western Michigan. The five-foot-11, 205-pound ball carrier is currently projected as a fourth-round NFL Draft pick according to media consensus boards, with the chance to rise throughout the pre-draft process.

Participation in the prestigious Senior Bowl — the premier college football all-star game and symbolic start of draft season — is his first chance to do so and Brown appears to be seizing the opportunity with a strong week of practice.

Four of the top five ranked prospects on the CFL’s winter Scouting Bureau are in Mobile, Alabama for the event. Joining the top-ranked running back is his identical twin brother, Illinois safety Sydney Brown, along with Ole Miss defensive end Tavius Robinson and Syracuse left tackle Matthew Bergeron. All are expected to be selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.

In recent years, a number of high-profile Canadians have used strong showings at the Senior Bowl to elevate their stock with scouts. Receivers Chase Claypool and Josh Palmer scored touchdowns in the game in 2020 and 2021, eventually becoming Day 2 picks for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers. Last year, outside linebacker Jesse Luketa turned a two-sack performance into a seventh-round selection from the Arizona Cardinals.

The latest class of Canadians will take to the field on Saturday, February 4 at 2:30 p.m. EST. The game can be viewed on NFL Network.