“I’m On Top Of the World”—Derrick Brown
After missing out on several national honors, Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown won the 2019 Lott IMPACT Trophy Sunday night in a ceremony in Newport Beach, California. Finalists included Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons, Ohio State’s Jordan Fuller, and Cal’s Evan Weaver.
Brown finished the regular season with 50 total tackles, including 12 1/2 for a loss, four sacks, two fumbles, and 38 quarterback pressures—all while being double teamed and held by offensive linemen the entire season. The attraction as a player worthy of double teaming helped open opportunities for teammates such as All-SEC lineman, Marlon Davidson.
Both the coaches and the Associated Press selected Derrick as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. A member of the All-SEC First Team, he was named this week a Walter Camp First Team All-American. In addition several voters had him in their top five list for the Heisman Trophy.
Although many, including yours truly, thought Brown should have won the Outland Trophy, this award is a fitting tribute to a guy who is the epitome of an Auburn Man.
I say that because this award recognizes the nation’s best defensive player, who excels in his performance on the field and his character off of it. And “character” is certainly the key word to describe Derrick Brown. He’s always thinking about his fellow man.
Off the field, Brown has a long résumé of serving others, which includes helping his church build homes in Montgomery and going on mission trips to the Dominican Republic. As Auburn’s SACC vice president, the honor-roll student was a member of the SEC student-athlete leadership council.
A favorite of the Auburn fan base, the defensive star turned down millions of dollars in a possible professional contact at the end of last season to return for one more year on the Plains. Shortly after receiving his Auburn degree Saturday, he announced that he would not skip the Outback Bowl saying, “I came back to finish what I started.”
“To be able to be recognized,” Derrick said, “and be in the same conversation as these guys for their work on the field and off the field is great …. I’m on top of the world.” And he needs to be. It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy.
War Eagle, Derrick!