When Zach Brown left Royal Palm Beach (Fla.) High School in 2007, he narrowed his college choices to Wisconsin and Pitt.
He chose Wisconsin, ultimately earning a History degree and a reputation as a punishing — but little-used — running back.
This season, he gets a second chance at a college career, moving into his new home — at Pitt.
“I’m just looking for an opportunity,” he said after picking Pitt over Miami (Fla.) this time.
With Ray Graham as the only back on scholarship, Pitt could use the help.
“I’m excited about having him,” Pitt co-offensive coordinator Calvin Magee said. “I’m excited about the experience he is going to bring. He’s been in big games. He’s a big, punishing running back. Now, we have two veterans (backs) who have been in the game and understand what we want.”
Brown, who was twice voted his high school team’s most unselfish player, epitomizes what Pitt is seeking, Magee said.
“He brings a great work ethic and so much character. This is what we are preaching.”
Brown, 5-foot-10, 220 pounds, rushed for 1,152 career yards, but only 584 after a productive freshman year.
He didn’t fall out of favor at Wisconsin, but the Badgers had James White, John Clay and Montee Ball, who rushed for 1,052, 1,012 and 996 yards, respectively, last season. Brown decided to redshirt.
After earning a 3.1 grade-point average at Wisconsin, Brown will pursue a post-graduate degree at Pitt in Health and Physical Activity. Because Wisconsin didn’t offer such a degree, he is eligible to play immediately but only for one season.