Name: Kris Brown
School: University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Q: How did you get started playing football?
I started playing football when I was in the third grade, my first team was the New York Jets in the local Sealy Flag Football League. The next year I started tackle football in the Katy Youth Football league, and never looked back.
Q: What separates you from all the other athletes trying to become a professional?
The combination of my athletic ability, competitiveness, work ethic and mindset.
Q: Tell us about your college choice, career and what the recruiting process was like.
Football was not my best sport coming out of high school. I was an All-region basketball player and a 3x All-State triple jumper. I wasn’t very big coming out of high school, I had offers from LSU and UofH for track, but football was what I loved. The options for football were relatively limited compared to my track offers, mainly due to my size, so the recruiting process for football came late for me. I had schools that wrote me, but I only got around to three visits before making my decision. I went on a visit to Sam Houston State University, Hardin Simmons University and The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. As soon as I stepped on UMHB’s campus, I felt like I was at home. The environment was welcoming and I got a sense of compassion and opportunity during my visit. The facilities were top-notch, there was a high quality of education and it was a winning football program. At that point, I didn’t feel like I could pass up the opportunity presented.
Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?
Winning the National Championship
Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from the coaching staff?
The importance of mental toughness.
Q: What is/was your biggest challenge and how do/did you manage it?
My biggest challenge was injuring my knee during the start of my Junior season. I tore my ACL and Meniscus. I had the support of my family, girlfriend and team. At first it was tough, I was coming off a great sophomore season, ready to compete for an even better year, but that wasn’t God’s plan. This is where the support and mental toughness came in to save me. I gained the strength to push myself and get into a routine that would get me ready for the next year. I went to the training room/rehab twice a day for about 8 months, I spent my off time working out to gain weight and I never lost sight of the end goal.
Q: What is your biggest strength or X factor that you bring to a professional team?
My instinct and ability to read plays and break on the ball
Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?
I don’t have one, it takes a village. Of course, my parents, they are my #1 fans, the reason I am where I am today. Coach Dabney (HS coach and pastor), he always made it a point to pick me up and take me to practices or games when I didn’t have a way, he always kept my head on straight and he pushed me in the right direction. My girlfriend, Savannah, she is the biggest supporter I have. She pushed me throughout my college career to be a better player and a greater man. She was the underlying reason I got through my injury, she challenged me, pushing me to fight through it and push myself to get back and better than I was before. Coach Harmon (DC at UMHB), constantly challenged me to get better and he has genuinely always cared and pushed me to become better man.
Q: What are your goals with football? If football does not work out, then what?
The goal is to reach the next level, I want to live out my dream of playing the sport I love professionally. I would like to prove that it’s not about the size of the player or size of the school, but it’s about talent, instinct and putting in over-time. If football doesn’t work out, I plan to use my degree, which will land me somewhere in the sports industry.
Q: How did you prepare for the National Scouting Combine and what are your expectations?
I have been training at our school facilities and at Sacrifice training facility in Pflugerville, Texas. I expect to excel at everything, but I expect to standout in the bench press, change of direction and footwork during the position specific drills.
Q: What would be your ultimate achievement?
To get the opportunity with a professional team, ultimately the NFL.
Q: If you have to compare yourself to a current pro player, who would it be and why?
Tyrann Mathieu. We have a similar body size, he plays big, he is aggressive, he has strong instincts, is a great tackler and has great ball skills.