We’re counting down the 25 best former Texas athletes still competing in their sport. Each day we’ll reveal a new athlete.
No. 11 Malcom Brown, football
An Under-Armour All-American from Brenham High School, Malcom Brown recorded 24 sacks in three seasons in high school and earned a 5-star recruiting grade. He picked Texas and quickly became one of the best defensive players for the Longhorns. As a freshman in 2012 he played in every game and recorded 25 tackles. He became a starter along the defensive line in 2013 and recorded 68 tackles and two sacks. His final year at Texas, his junior season, Brown was a consensus All-American, a finalist for the Outland and Nagurski trophy and finished with 70 tackles, 13 for a loss and 6.5 sacks. He was a first-team All-Big 12 selection that season.
Pro career: Brown is the latest Longhorn selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, and it’s safe to say he hit he jackpot when the then-Super Bowl champion New England Patriots selected him No. 32 in the first round of the 2015 draft. During his career, Brown has recorded 147 tackles, 8.5 sacks and helped the Patriots win Super Bowl LI over the Atlanta Falcons. He played in Super Bowl LII as well to finish his third season in the league. Brown will be a free agent after the 2018 season after the Patriots opted to decline his fifth-year option.
Why he’s here: When the Patriots decided not to pick up his option for the 2019 season, it could be seen as a sign Brown’s career is at a crossroads, but at the same time, the 6-foot-2-inch, 320 pound defensive tackle has been a productive member of the Patriots’ defense and considered the team’s top defensive tackle. However, the Patriots’ decision may be based more on their own salary cap situation than Brown’s performance. A fifth-year option on a first round pick taken between 11-32 means Brown would have made around $7 million that season. Instead, Brown will have an opportunity to make more than that if his fourth season is as productive as his first three. Brown is a Super Bowl champion at just 24-years-old.
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