Summer 2024

After 3 years of waiting, Dre Brown makes Illinois debut with renewed faith

After 2 torn ACL injuries, 2 sprained MCL injuries, a stress fracture and 4 knee surgeries, Dre Brown, wearing number 27, was able to make his debut in a game for Illinois.

“It was amazing,” Brown told Sports Spectrum. “Just being on that stage alone, especially with all that I’ve been through with the injuries. Just an amazing opportunity.”

Coming out of high school, Brown was ranked as a three-star recruit and the No. 37 running back in the nation in 2014. He committed to Illinois in March of 2014 and was expected to be a big part of the rebuilding with the Illini.

But then, the injuries happened.

A torn ACL in the spring of 2015 and another one in the spring of 2016, forced Brown to do some soul searching and really think long and hard about where his identity was found.

In 2017, many thought they would never see Brown on the field as a member of the Illini, but with faith in God, and a lot of hard work, Dre Brown made his debut this past Saturday against Iowa.

In an exclusive interview with Sports Spectrum, Dre shared how he put his faith and trust in God and started walking with the Lord during that rough stretch of injures in 2015.

“I started going to church and people inviting me to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and I started getting plugged in there. People were bold enough to invite me. It came down to January (2016), where I could make a decision to go back to my old life, just wandering around with no purpose, or I could take this pursuit with Christ and I just kind of jumped in. I ended up being baptized in April of 2016.”

Dre’s also celebrating another accomplishment —- engagement. On July 24, he proposed to his girlfriend Lindsay and the two are now set to marry in 2018.

“I found an amazing girl at this Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp,” Brown told Sports Spectrum. “We just hit it off. I know I can pursue Christ better with her than by myself. We got the wedding next May and I’m excited to do life with her and glad that God picked her out for me, she’s a good one.”

Click below to listen to the entire interview with Dre Brown and Sports Spectrum’s Jason Romano.