Temple senior running back Matt Brown is listed at 5-foot-5, 165 pounds. That might be a reach, but the dude can still play - Brown is arguably one of the best kickoff and punt returners in the nation. Brown has been hampered by various leg injuries all season, but has battled through to lead the Owls in all-purpose yards in 2012. During last Saturday's loss vs. Pittsburgh, Brown provided one of the Owls only bright spots of the game, returning a kickoff for 77 yards that was nearly taken to the house for a touchdown. This past Saturday, though, Brown doubled up on that success bringing back the opening kickoff of the game against No. 10 ranked Louisville 93 yards for a touchdown. It was good for his second kickoff return touchdown of his career. Brown finished the game by accumulating 227 kickoff return yards on seven return opportunities and also returned two punts for 39 yards, including one that was good for 30 yards.
For his efforts, Brown has been named the Big East Specialist of the Week. Brown leads the Big East with 150 yards per game and is among the top thirty-five in the nation in punt return average, all-purpose yards, and kickoff return average.
Brown was the backup to current Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce for the last three years. Last year, Brown ran for 916 yards and six touchdowns behind Pierce en route to third team All-MAC Honors. His opportunites in the backfield have been limited this year due to injury, but Brown is proving he is a game changer on special teams.
Check out Brown's opening kickoff return against Louisville below. Brown possesses an exceptional burst of speed, as he ran 93 yards in about 11.6 seconds. Brown has an opportunity to take back punt and kickoff returns the NFL next year if he keeps this up and stays healthy.