Sunday, July 22, 2012

Counting down the top Pitt football players of the last 40 years- No.25 Ruben Brown

I will be counting down my own list of the top 50 Pitt football players since 1972.  I have spent time doing a lot of research and talking to a lot of people when formulating this list, but ultimately it is MY opinion.  The great thing about lists like this is that people will disagree, and feel free to, but just remember that there is no right answer so there's no need to go crazy if you do disagree.  I will post this same intro with all 50 bios because I know the one time I don't, people will complain about not knowing what criteria I used.  I will add at least one a day, maybe two.  

My criteria for selecting the order is as follows:

1.  Productivity.
2.  Talent.
3.  Place in program history.
4.  Only the player's careers while at Pitt are considered, not their NFL careers. 
5.  No current players.

25.  Ruben Brown (1990-94)-  Coming out of high school the Virginia native was considered one of the best defensive line prospects in the country.  The problem was, Pitt already had Keith Hamilton and Sean Gilbert starring on the line.  So during his redshirt freshman season he was moved, mostly against his will, by then head coach Paul Hackett to offensive tackle.  The rest is history.

Brown became a four year starter, a three-time All-Big East player, and as a senior he was named an All-American.  He was drafted as a guard in the 1st round by the Buffalo Bills and played for the Bills and then the Chicago Bears for a combined 13 seasons.  He was named All-Pro four times and to the Pro Bowl nine times.  He is expected to eventually become a Hall of Fame inductee.


  1. Very glad to see Rueben on this list. I had no idea he was recruited as a defensive lineman. He was obviously a good study, and smart. He ended up being one of the greatest offensive linemen in Pitt history — and that is saying a lot.

    So we can now say this about the Hackett era: Moving Rueben Brown to the offensive line was, by far, the smartest thing Hackett ever did. Maybe the only significant contribution of any kind he made to the Pitt program and to football.

  2. One of the greats who comes back and supports the program. He is ALWAYS at the Spring game.